US$131.4 million has been granted by Denmark’s largest bank, the Danske Bank, to further fund the Assela wind project in Ethiopia. The funding was transferred during a virtual conference between the Director and Associate Director of Danske Bank, Petterson and Olaf S. Mark Schet, & the Ethiopian Finance Minister, Ahmed Shide. It is the second instalment of funding from Denmark who provided US$201 million in 2018. Aside from Danske Bank, the African Development Bank has also offered support for the construction of the Assela wind project by granting US$1.8 million which is to be used for the studies of the environmental and social impact of the farm that located around 150km away from Addis Ababa, on the edge of the Rift Valley in the regional state of Oromia.
The wind farm is expected to have 29 turbines with each turbine having the capacity to produce 3.45MW, hence contributing 100MW to the electrical grid of Ethiopia. The agreement signed between the Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy stipulates that the Danish subsidiary of Siemens Gamesa will have control of 60% of the development of the project, while Simens Gamesa-Spain (the parent company) will have the remaining 40% control. The two subsidiaries of the company are also expected to operate and maintain the Assela wind farm over a period of 5 years.
The region is quickly increasing the number of wind farms that it has with the recent launch of the Ghoubet Windfarm that has 15 wind turbines, each with a maximum capacity of 4.8 MW and whose turbines will be carried by 150 m high masts (rods). The Ghoubet wind farm has a capacity of 60 MW and is located on a plot that occupies 395 hectares in the Lake Ghoubet region. The consortium will also construct a 230 kV overhead transmission line, approximately 3.5 km long, to connect the wind farm to the grid via the Ghoubet substation.