Power producers eye more sales as demand rises

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

Power generating companies are set to gain from the increased national demand for electricity which has hit a new peak of 2,051 Megawatts(MW), up from 2,036MW recorded in November last year.

KenGen says the demand has been attributed to accelerated growth and economic recovery which was slowed down in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This growth was driven mainly by renewable energy sources with geothermal energy making the greatest contribution, giving a further boost to Kenya’s climate action agenda,” said KenGen.

The firm’s managing director Rebecca Miano said the demand is a reflection of its ongoing strategic efforts to meet the country’s growing demand for electricity by harnessing Kenya’s rich renewable energy sources.

“KenGen is committed to ensuring a steady and reliable supply of competitively priced electricity to support Kenya’s economy. The company is doing this by accelerating the deployment of renewable energy sources such as geothermal, hydro, wind, and solar,” said Ms Miano.

The country’s highest energy gross demand was recorded on May 18 at a new peak of 37,273 megawatt-hours (MWh). This represented a 2.5 percent growth from 36,380.63 MWh in November last year, the daily power generation and dispatch analysis report shows.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm’s geothermal power stations in Olkaria provided the largest share of 14,763.37MWh during the recent analysis.

The company currently has 713MW of geothermal energy generation capacity and is readying to commission another 83MW in its newest power plant, the Olkaria I additional unit 6.

Hydropower electricity produced exceeded the National Control Centre (NCC) dispatch projections by 1,988.42MWh, denoting a 25 percent increase, a report by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) shows.

KenGen’s total installed hydro capacity currently stands at 826MW.

The report shows that Gitaru, Kindaruma, Kamburu, and Kiambere Power Stations were among those that exceeded the projected power generation output.

The stations are part of the Seven Forks cascade which forms a crucial component of KenGen’s power generation infrastructure.

KenGen said it is banking its future on green, affordable and accessible energy, including geothermal, hydro, wind, and solar.

“Our future project pipeline is green, including geothermal, wind, solar and hydro. The projects will be implemented in phases with the first expected to be commissioned by June 30, 2022,” said Miano.

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