Kenya: Kengen to Fast Track Deployment of Renewable Energy

Nairobi — Kenya Electricity Generating Company PLC (KenGen) has unveiled plans to scale up the deployment of renewable energy in the country, adding an additional 3000 megawatts (MW) from clean energy sources into the grid as it seeks to diversify from expensive thermal sources.

This new campaign will be driven largely by deploying up to 2000MW drawn from geothermal and hydro sources as baseload power to stabilize the country’s energy sources.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) listed firm has also put in place plans to optimize the existing hydro sources even as it pushes for the development of new hydropower stations, and expansion of existing ones, particularly within the Tana River basin.

Speaking from KenGen’s Stima Plaza Headquarters in Nairobi, Ag. Managing Director and CEO, Abraham Serem said the company will be seeking to rehabilitate its existing power plants to make them more efficient for sustainable generation.

He added that KenGen would be looking to tap into the vast potential of geothermal energy in the Rift Valley region, which is estimated to be about 10,000MW of clean and renewable energy.

“So far we have only exploited about 0.9GW of the 10GW geothermal potential and that is why a huge chunk of the additional capacity will be drawn from geothermal,” said Serem.

“Our focus going forward is to secure the baseload capacity to stabilize Kenya’s energy supply mainly from green renewable energy.”

The Ag. CEO of KenGen singled out the upcoming 305 MW geothermal projects, with 280 MW coming from Olkaria and 25 MW from the Eburru geothermal power plant, for which he said construction would commence immediately after getting the requisite approvals.

In addition, the company plans to leverage new technology to rehabilitate its oldest geothermal power plant, the 45MW Olkaria I to give it a new life and increase its generation capacity to more than 60MW.

“We will also be rolling out plans to up-rate the turbines for the Olkaria I additional units 4 and 5 and Olkaria IV power plants to increase their output by an additional 40MW,” said Serem.

On the Western side of the Country, KenGen has announced plans to rehabilitate its Gogo hydropower plant to increase its capacity by about 8MW from the current 2MW.

This is expected to contribute to the stability of the power supply in the western region.

“Going forward, we will be seeking to enlist new drilling fields for geothermal after successful drilling expeditions in the existing fields,” said Serem adding, “the acquisition of new fields will be one of the major initiatives for us in the new year as we seek to take advantage of the 10GW geothermal potential in the country.”

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