Kenya Power launched their Live Line maintenance programme a few years back that was geared to conduct periodic maintenance without having to turn off power to customers.
Today’s launch follows the completion of a pilot phase which Kenya Powers says involved training 70 staff to conduct maintenance of live power lines. During this pilot phase, Kenya Power says they used 8 insulated trucks and 3 digger derricks. A total of 32 special trucks will be flagged off to various regions this morning that are involved in this exercise.
Kenya Power invested 720 million in the first phase of the project and the technicians were to mainly operate on the 11kV, 33kV ad 66kV distribution lines that link homes and businesses to substations.
The parastatal’s main focus is to bringing down their energy losses to a single digital figure. This is due to the fact that everytime they switch off a line for maintenance, they lose on efficiency. Kenya Power invested 10 billion KES to cut their losses from 17.5% to below 10% in their 2016 financial year.
Their live line maintenance program will involve changing rotten poles, repairing broken conductors, trace clearance and connection of new customers without completely switching off the supply. This is a great step in the right direction since interruption of power during these activities.
According to Kenya Power, the number of shutdowns has reduced by 40% since they started using liveline maintenance. They plan to reduce this further.
No one likes power interruptions and this move to reduce their occurrence will make our lives better. Apparently Kenya Power is the second utility company in Sub-Saharan Africa after Eskom from South Africa that is deploying this technology and it is great we are using technology to solve such problems.