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GDC to add 49 megawatts to the national grid by end of the year

By Julius Chepkwony - May 26th 2022
GDC Regional Manager North Rift John Lagat speaks during Japan International Cooperation Agency's mission to GDC in Nakuru on May 25, 2022.[Harun Wathari, Standard]

Geothermal Development Company has said it will add 49 megawatts of geothermal power to the national grid from Menengai Crater after an 11-year wait.

The company began drilling the first well on the floor of the crater to tap geothermal energy in February 2011.

Since it began its operation, not a single watt had been produced from the wells that it says have potential of generating 1,600MW of clean energy.

Kenyans had hopes in the project as it was set to inject 400 megawatts to the national grid by 2014 and 800 megawatts by 2016 when completed.

Yesterday, John Lagat, the GDC regional manager for North Rift said they have 170 megawatts of power.

He was representing the managing director and CEO in a meeting with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

He said that there was an Independent Power Producer already on-site to convert the steam to electricity and feed it to the national grid.

He also said they have already signed a capacity building contract with JICA.

“By December we should be having the power to the national grid. The first IPP will be able to deliver 49 megawatts,” Lagat said, adding that in Baringo County, they have capped 27 megawatts worth of steam and drilling was going on.

It is estimated that the North Rift region has a capacity to generate 3,000 MW of electricity.

"The past technical support GDC has received from JICA has greatly improved our business," Lagat said.

This is strategic, he said, adding that it helps Kenya towards self-reliance on green energy. The first funding of Sh2.3 billion that ended in 2016 was key.

“It helped us to review GDC's geothermal development strategy and build the capacity of GDC staff.

"Approximately 475 staff were trained under that programme,” he said.  

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