May 24, 2011 / 5:14 PM / 8 years ago

Kenyan wind farm gets U.N. carbon credit approval

NAIROBI (Reuters) - A 310 megawatt (MW) Kenyan wind power project has received approval to earn carbon emissions credits under the United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism, a senior company executive said on Tuesday.

Construction on the 617 million euro ($873.7 million) Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) project is expected to start by December and will be the fourth project in Kenya to get approval under the CDM.

“We are extremely pleased to have received notification of project registration,” Carlo van Wageningen, LTWP chairman, said in a statement.

“This is ...further confirmation that renewable energy is a viable option for Africa.”

Under carbon offset programs like the CDM, firms invest in projects that reduce climate-warming emissions in developing nations and receive credits called certified emissions reductions (CERs) in return.

The LTWP power project, expected to be operational after 2013, expects to reduce emissions by more than 700,000 tonnes annually — equivalent emissions of more than 150,000 cars a year — by substituting fossil fuel-based electricity generation.

“LTWP has pledged to return part of the carbon credit revenue to the Government of Kenya,” added van Wageningen.

“It is of great comfort that the government has indicated that it will use such revenue for development activities in the project area.”

LTWP is a subsidiary of KP&P, a Dutch firm which sets up wind power projects.

Other firms with CDM-approved projects in east Africa’s biggest economy include power producers Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), Mumias Sugar and OrPower. Sixteen other projects are awaiting approval.

Reporting by Beatrice Gachenge; editing by George Obulutsa and Jason Neely

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