Kenya: 102MW Kipeto Wind Farm Funds Biodiversity Through Innovative Loan Agreement

  • BTE Renewables (BTE), which is an Actis company, alongside Craftskills Limited and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) have arranged a pioneering loan agreement for the Kipeto Wind Power Project (Kipeto), in Kenya.
  • Sourced from TNC and private impact investors, the $10m loan will facilitate funding, over the life of the project, towards implementing local human-wildlife initiatives in the areas surrounding the wind project.
  • The $10 million loan helps bring together multiple parties in the interest of advancing conservation and demonstrating new models of funding.

Kipeto reached full commercial operations in July 2021 and is supplying 100MW of additional power to the Kenya national grid, making this project the second largest wind power project in Kenya and providing clean power to approximately 250,000 households. Read more 

Located in Kajiado county, 45 km away from Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, Kipeto is implementing an ambitious biodiversity action plan (BAP), which comprises close collaboration with the local community to protect the surrounding flora and fauna. The BAP was developed in consultation with various nature and wildlife conservation experts and includes a number of projects to improve the livelihoods of the community through local job creation and building improved predator-proof animal enclosures for local farmers. Simultaneously, the BAP aims to ensure the preservation of endangered species of vultures by undertaking activities such as enhanced monitoring and carcass clearance while implementing shutdown on demand and raptor rescue protocols.

Peter Kinyanjui (Kipeto Energy PLC bird observer) monitoring soaring raptors along one of the ridges at South of the windfarm using a telescope.

BTE and TNC designed the investment via a $10 million fixed-rate mezzanine loan to the project, alongside a commitment by the project to provide annual funding for critical conservation initiatives throughout the life of the wind power project. The use of this funding is governed by the biodiversity subcommittee of Kipeto’s Board, which comprises leading independent local and international avifauna organisations. In connection with the loan, TNC has joined Kipeto’s biodiversity committee and will provide technical assistance for the committee’s implementation of the BAP.

It is significant to note that the BAP includes both on-site mitigation measures and off-site vulture conservation interventions, including radio tracking and awareness programmes within communities, to decrease human-wildlife conflict, such as poisoning. The shutdown-on-demand and carcass removal activities, relate to on-site avoidance interventions.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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