The Adama wind farm (153MW) became operational in Ethiopia in May 2015, and is the first located in sub-Saharan Africa.
The country has often struggled to generate enough electricity, since droughts often leave the dams in the Blue Nile and the southern Omo River with low levels of water. In the hopes of producing more energy the country is turning to other power sources.
Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation’s electromechanical supervisor in charge, Solomon Yismaw Agaje, said, “We have an abundance of hydroelectric energy sources, but during the dry season and when droughts happen the level of the dam decreases”
“At that time the wind will complement the [hydro] dam. The wind is especially strong during [the] dry season, so wind and hydro [power] complement each other.”
The 102 wind turbines are China made and 70m tall, located approximately 100 km from the capital, Addis Ababa. According to the country’s energy minister, it needs to boost its production of electricity to 25% per year to meet its increasing energy demands.
As it stands, over three quarters of the population in Ethiopia are without power and living in rural areas. However, the country has ambitious plans to significantly cut their carbon emissions by two thirds in the next 15 years.
Ethiopia is in the middle of developing another dam and yet another wind farm is planned for construction in Ayesha, which will be a whopping 300MW.
Consultant engineer and professor at the University of Adama, Tahaguas Andemariam said, ““We now have the knowledge [on] how to develop the roadmap of this wind technology in Ethiopia.”