KenGen to add 86MW to national grid next month

Plans are underway to tap 25MW from Eburu area in Gilgil. [David Gichuru, Standard]

The country’s push for green energy has received a boost after the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) announced plans to pump additional 86 megawatts (MW) to the national grid next month.

Works at the Olkaria 1 (unit 6) power plant in Naivasha are nearly ready for commissioning, even as the government gears to phase out the expensive thermal power.

The move comes barely a month after the State announced plans to cut the cost of electricity by 15 per cent in the first phase, and another 15 per cent by March this year.

KenGen acting Geothermal Development Director Peketsa Mangi, the commissioning of the 86MW plant would bring the total installed geothermal power in the country to 790MW. “We expect the Olkaria 1, unit six power plant which has a capacity of 86MW to be commissioned in the next couple of months,” he said.

He said plans are underway to tap another 25MW from the Eburu area in Gilgil, adding that feasibility studies were going on.

“Currently we have a 2.4MW well-head-generator in Eburu but we want to upgrade it and explore more power as the area is rich in geothermal energy,” he said.

Mr Mangi was addressing the press in Olkaria after KenGen Foundation donated 300 water tanks to vulnerable communities in the region.

He said 1,000 water tanks would be distributed to families.

“We cannot talk about water without addressing the issue of conservation and that is why we are supporting various groups in coming up with tree nurseries in the region,” he said.

KenGen Foundation Managing Trustee Antony Gecha said Sh20 million had been set aside to assist vulnerable families and government institutions in Nakuru and Narok counties.

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