GEOTHERMAL ENERGY

Full steam ahead as Kengen eyes Olakaria VI

Uganda team in Kenya to study geothermal exploration

In Summary

-          Olkaria has a capacity of 10,000mw

-          Country installed electricity is 2,780m

-          Of this Kengen produces 1,631mw

-          Wind accounts for 13 percent of electricity connection

The Olkaria II Geothermal Power Plant in Naivasha. The Kenya’s Geothermal Development Company is drilling 10 wellsnew wells over the next in the Olkaria area to generate steam that will add an extra 140MW (megawatts) into the national grid. Photo/ Jack Owuor
The Olkaria II Geothermal Power Plant in Naivasha. The Kenya’s Geothermal Development Company is drilling 10 wellsnew wells over the next in the Olkaria area to generate steam that will add an extra 140MW (megawatts) into the national grid. Photo/ Jack Owuor

Kengen has pumped an extra 165megawatts into the national power grid as Kenya increasingly moves towards moves  geothermal energy.

The power from Olkaria V power plant in Naivasha forms part of the governments plan to reduce heavy reliance on thermal power.

According to Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter, the two units of the new plant contribute a combined output of 165mw  which is currently under trial.

He said Kenya is steadily cutting use of thermal power which is very expensive and replacing this with geothermal energy.

“Ahead of its commissioning Olkaria V is already producing 165mw but the process of bringing down the cost of electricity will take longer,” he said.

Keter said the government is keen on exploring more geothermal power from Naivasha and that plans for the construction of Olkaria VI are underway.

“The evaluation process for the 140mw geothermal power plant is complete and we are now going into tendering process,” he said.

The CS spoke in Naivasha when Kengen hosted a delegation of Ugandan MPs and senior government officials.

Commenting on The Last Mile connectivity project, Keter said that 75 percent of the country now has access to electricity with plans to cover all regions by 2022.

“We have a lot of financial support from donors on this project with the government keen to meet the universal access to electricity,” he said.

The CS said Kenya currently receives  50mw of hydro-power from Uganda at subsidised rates adding that they were keen to partner in terms of power generation.

Uganda's Energy Minister Mary Kitutu said they are keen to borrow lesson from Kenya's geothermal production.