Kenya Electricity Generating Company Plc (KenGen) has completed setting up a 83-meagawatt power plant in Olkaria. KenGen is already testing this additional Unit (AU) 6 Geothermal Power Plant before connecting it to the national power grid.
In a statement published in their official website, KenGen celebrates a successful delivery of full steam to the power plant. It is set to commence its commercial operations in June 2022. This will be double win for Kenyans. Firstly on climate action as geothermal is renewable and secondly on reliability and affordability considering that geothermal will predictably displace other more expensive sources of energy.
Impact towards vision 2030
KenGen CEO madam Rebecca Miano describes the milestone as a big step forward in the country’s progress toward 100% utilization of renewable energy by the year 2030. She adds that will ensure a reliable supply of clean electricity to drive Kenya’s economic development.
According to the CEO, construction of this plant is aligned to the company’s long-term strategy and Kenya’s Least Cost Power Development Plan (LCPDP). The LCPDP is majorly focused on sustainable supply of renewable energy in support of the Government’s Big Four Agenda.
Testing the plant
Currently , the plant is undergoing reliability tests to confirm its output. This is the final process signaling completion of construction period. The turbine manufacturer Fuji Electric Global conducted the integral tests like initial steam admission. The plant project contractor Marubeni Corporation has also been part of the team verifying the performance of the plant turbines.
The tests come nearly nine months since the commencement of works to install the steam turbine at the new power plant. The turbine is now the largest single unit of turbine ever installed in any of KenGen’s geothermal power stations. This was also the first time a Fuji turbine was being installed not only in Kenya but in Africa.
Today, geothermal accounts for up to 39% of KenGen’s total installed generation capacity. With the additional 83MW, geothermal is expected to grow from the current 713MW to 796MW pushing up the share of KenGen’s geothermal installed capacity to about 42%.