December 10, 2014….Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) has finally connected to the national grid the entire 280 MW of Olkaria geothermal power, a move that is expected to further lower the cost of electricity in the country.
Last week, Olkaria 1 additional Unit 5, the last phase of the single largest geothermal project in Africa, begun reliability tests and is now adding 72 MW to the national grid. The tests will be completed at the end of this month.
“We can now confirm that all the 280MW is running and stable on the grid. Indeed, we are very excited about this milestone. We not only see it as a score for KenGen, but also for Kenyans in general as it helps to further reduce the cost of power by displacing the expensive thermal fuel. At the same time, it will help to stabilise the country’s power supply by reducing dependence on hydro, which is prone to weather variations. We have had below average inflow of water into our hydro dams and the commissioning of this unit is nothing short of a Christmas and New Year gift to the country,” says KenGen MD & CEO, Albert Mugo.
Currently, the company is injecting 1575 MW to the national grid, with geothermal for the second month in a row surpassing hydro as the main source of electricity. “This achievement is coming at a time when we are about to have our 62nd annual general meeting and I am sure our shareholders will be excited to know that the project has been successfully completed,” adds the CEO.
The company’s annual general meeting will take place on Tuesday 16/12/2014 at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
According to the CEO, the country has not experienced power rationing despite low water levels in the hydro generation dams on the Tana Cascade. “This is because the 280 MW project has helped to bridge the power deficit,” added Mr. Mugo.
The Olkaria 280MW project comprises the 140MW Olkaria IV and the Olkaria I units 4 and 5 each with a capacity of 70MW.
At the same time, the CEO highlighted upcoming projects to be implemented by the company as part of the Government plan to inject 5000MW by 2017. “With the implementation of the 280MW Olkaria geothermal project now behind us, we are focused on the next phase which includes the implementation of 350MW comprising Olkaria I, Olkaria V and Olkaria VI projects