Power producer KenGen has announced plans to add an extra 160 megawatts to the national grid by June 2019.
Managing director Rebecca Miano said the Sh17 billion project was on course to achieving 721MW by 2020. It is currently at 533.8 MW
“The power plant is part of KenGen’s ambitious green energy development agenda aimed at delivering 721MW of renewable energy by year 2020 at an investment of Sh135B,” she said.
The power plant whose construction began last year and several other green energy projects, at different stages of procurement will ensure Kenyans benefit directly from reliable, clean and affordable electricity.
“Our focus is on geothermal energy, which is an eco-friendly, renewable and reliable source that can reduce consumers’ utility costs by up to 50 per cent,” she said.
Miano said manufacturing of equipment in Japan and Germany was on schedule and several equipments already tested in readiness for shipment to Kenya.
“All earth works at the project site are complete and the main activity in progress is subsurface ground stabilization by pilling to create a strong foundation,” she said.
She said they water levels at KenGen hydro power plants have fallen below the minimum operating level and unless the country receives sufficient amount of rainfall in the next few weeks, the company would be forced to shut down its hydro-power stations.
“We will be forced to shut down the ones in the Eastern region which draw their water from River Tana that supplies water to Masinga, Kindaruma, Gitaru and Kiambere power plants,”
She at the same time said there was no cause for alarm as KenGen was scaling up geothermal and wind energy sources to offset the deficit that will be created by closure of the dams.
“The current weather forecast indicates that Tana catchment is most likely to experience depressed rainfall while the catchments for Turkwel and Sondu Rivers, which serves Turkwel and Sondu Miriu power plants, are most likely to receive near average rainfall,” she noted.