State owned Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) is set to increase electricity contribution to the national grid by over 200MW in the next two years.
Under the plan, the power producer added 165 megawatts to the grid early this month from the Olkaria V power project and another 83.3 megawatts by 2021.
KenGen’s CEO Rebecca Miano says electricity will be sourced from geothermal power which had turned out to be the main source of electricity in the country.
According to her, the company is keen to replace the expansive thermal power with geothermal which is clean and more reliable.
“Works on the Olkaria V power plant are at an advanced stage and plans are underway to pump an extra 83.3MW by 2021,” she said.
Speaking during a visit to the geothermal rich area, Miano said the country’s installed electricity capacity is currently at 2,720MW.
Of this Kengen contributes 1,631MW while Independent Power Producers (IPP) account for the remaining 1,089MW.
“Geothermal is leading at 40 per cent followed by hydro at 35 per cent while wind and solar stand at 13 and two per cent respectively,” she said.
Miano said that over years, Kengen had made major strides in production of geothermal electricity noting that currently there were 310 wells drilled around Olkaria.
She noted that the move to increase production of geothermal power would see thermal power reduced meaning a reduction in the cost of electricity.
“Geothermal is cheaper and readily available than thermal and we are keen to drill more wells so the country can have cleaner energy,” she said.
On his part, the company Chairman Joshua Choge noted that Kengen had entered into a partnership with countries in the region over geothermal exploration.
Under the pact, Kengen will use its expertise in the field to develop geothermal fields and capacity building for engineers in the sector.
“Kengen has in the past provided consulting services in geothermal exploration to Ethiopia, Rwanda, Djiobuti, Zambia, Comoros and Sudan,” he said.
Choge added that for over six decades, the company had built a wealth of expertise in geothermal exploration and development through hands-on expertise.
“We have been able to develop an affiliation with other geothermal and geo-scientific engineers and this practice has enabled us to keep abreast of the latest technology in geothermal sector,” he said.
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