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First 20 turbines at Egypt’s West Bakr Wind farm synchronized to the grid

West Bakr Wind farm - cleanbuild

The Egyptian government through its Build Own Operate (BOO) framework has embarked on a mission to generate 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2022.

In light of this, Lekela, a leading renewable power generation company that delivers utility-scale projects across Africa, has announced that the first 20 turbines at West Bakr Wind farm have been successfully synchronized, with the wind farm now providing power to the grid.

Situated 30 kilometers northwest of Ras Ghareb, the West Bakr Wind farm will take advantage of the excellent wind resource in the Gulf of Suez.

The project will increase Egypt’s wind energy capacity by 18%, driving Egypt’s ambition to generate 20% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2022.

Having signed a Power Purchase Agreement with the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company and the New and Renewable Energy Authority in 2019, Lekela began construction on the wind farm in September 2019, and the first turbines were installed in late December 2020. The project is set to begin operations by the end of 2021.

According to the company, West Bakr Wind will generate more than 1000 GWh annually for 20 years, preventing over 550,000 tons of carbon emissions annually. However, the project will have a long-term impact beyond just generating electricity for 20 years.

As with all of Lekela’s projects across Africa, the West Bakr Wind Farm has a long-term commitment to the nearby local community of Ras Ghareb. The development of the next stage of this sustainable community plan is underway.

Beyond electricity to other socio-economic impacts

One socio-economic benefit of the wind farm construction is job creation for the locals.

In addition, Lekela is supporting the local community through a number of initiatives including the Women Empowerment Program for women in Ras Ghareb and a Female Engineering Apprenticeship Program aimed at increasing female participation in the renewables sector in Egypt.

Also, the energy company has disclosed that it will invest in consultancy services and training equipment and has already sponsored eight trainees from nearby Ras Ghareb, creating sustainable jobs for the community and supporting the local ecosystem.

Faisal Eissa, General Manager for Egypt at Lekela, said, “With the first turbines at West Bakr wind farm reaching synchronization, we are one step closer to providing Egypt with clean, renewable wind power.

While the 250 MW wind farm will provide a much-needed uplift to Egypt’s wind capacity, providing that power is just one part of our work.

We are committed to protecting the Gulf of Suez’s biodiversity through our migratory bird program and supporting the nearby community of Ras Ghareb, now and in the future.”