KenGen to connect new plant by June


Managing Director(MD) and Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), Ms Rebecca Miano on March 18, 2021. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

KenGen #ticker:KEGN will connect a new 83.3 Megawatt (MW) power plant to the national grid before June, boosting efforts to provide affordable power to households and businesses.

The power producer said the plant at Olkaria was undergoing reliability tests with Kenya Power #ticker:KPLC to pave the way for its linking to the national grid.

KenGen’s chief executive, Rebecca Miano, said that construction of the plant was complete.

“Construction of Olkaria I Unit 6 is aligned to the company’s long-term strategy and Kenya’s Least Cost Power Development Plan (LCPDP) focused on sustainable supply of renewable energy in support of the government’s Big Four Agenda,” Ms Miano said on Wednesday.

Construction of the plant started in December 2018 as Kenya embarked on efforts to generate affordable and clean power to spur economic growth.

Geothermal power accounted for 46.69 percent of its electricity as at June last year followed by hydro at 32.22 percent.

Linking of the new plant comes at a time the government is preparing the ground for another 15 percent cut in the cost of electricity in the next two months. The 15 percent cut in electricity tariffs is in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s promise to provide relief to consumers and businesses hurting from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The plant will increase Kenya’s installed geothermal power to 796MW from 713 MW, pushing up the share of KenGen’s geothermal installed capacity to 42 percent.

The government is banking on increased power supply from KenGen whose charges are lower than those of independent power producers.

Kenya Power bought 46 percent or Sh41.1 billion of its electricity from State-controlled KenGen, with other top producers being Lake Turkana Wind and US-based geothermal firm, OrPower 4 Inc.

A kilowatt-hour (kWh) of geothermal goes for an average of Sh6.7 while a similar unit of thermal power costs Sh30.8 on average, highlighting the anticipated impact of increased share of geothermal electricity to the national grid.

Kenya Power is banking on increased share of geothermal power to help provide cheaper electricity to homes and households.

Geothermal power accounted for 46.69 percent of its electricity as at June last year followed by hydro at 32.22 percent.

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