The proposed Baharini Wind Power project in Lamu, Kenya has been hit by a major setback after the members of Lamu county assembly solidly passed a motion to invalidate the project over alleged failure to meet some required conditions.
While moving the motion, Bahari Ward MCA, Mr. Anthony Njomo explained that the project investor planned to resettle the Project Affected People to a land that is already demarcated, surveyed and titled, and this was against the condition to use an absolutely free land for that purpose.
Furthermore, Mr. Njomo noted that the investor had been directly involved in the resettlement plan which was launched last December, instead of contracting SGS Kenya to work on the plan independently, therefore directly affecting and influencing the outcome of the entire process.
The project developers
The Baharini Wind Power project was being implemented by Baharini Wind Power, a partnership between Elicio NV, a Belgian renewable energy producer operating internationally and Kenyan based Kenwind Holdings Ltd.
The plan was to put up 38 turbines on a 3,206 acres piece of land in Baharini village, Lamu West, approximately 40kms from the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) Corridor project in Kililana.
Upon completion, the project was expected to generate 90 megawatts of electricity which would be sold to Kenya Power & Lighting Company under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement signed in February this year.
The second wind firm to succumb to local politics
The Baharini Wind Power project is the second of its kind to be terminated on the same basis in the country after the proposed Kinangop Wind Park. The latter was canceled in 2016 following fierce opposition from residents who claimed that they had been misled into signing oppressive contracts.
The 60.8MW facility was to be set up by Iberdrola Engineering and it would be the first major independent power producer wind farm in the East African Country.