African Wind Farm Deal

Vergenet Wind Turbine

A French company will soon begin construction on the African continent’s largest wind farm. Ethiopia signed a $300 million (220 million euro) contract with Vergnet, the French wind turbine manufacturer.

The Ethiopian group is the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPC), which hopes to meet 15 percent of its electric needs with the wind farm. The Power Corporation and Vergnet both anticipate an eventual production level of 120 megawatts. The timeline for reaching this production level is two and a half years.

EEPC chairman Meheret Debebe said the project is a strategic one for the area, and will “help us fill the gap of hydrological risks we are facing in Ethiopia with the droughts,” he said.

Ethiopia, like every African nation, has been hard hit by the recent droughts. Besides the tremendous toll on human life and the agriculture community, the lack of water has been a deathblow to many of the nation’s hydroelectric dams. These dams provide for the largest part of the nation’s energy needs, and the lack of water has forced frequent power cuts in recent months.

Ethiopia is a land-locked nation in the Horn of Africa, and is the continent’s second most populous country.

France is also pleased with the deal, with the Minister for Foreign Trade, Anne-Marie Idrac calling it an important contract that symbolizes France’s commitment to developing renewable energies and energy products.


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