FILE PHOTO: KenGen workers are seen at a section of the Olkaria IV geothermal power plant near the Rift Valley town of Naivasha, Kenya
INTERNATIONAL – Kenya's electricity utility said Tuesday it has added 79 megawatts (MW) of power to the national grid following the completion of a new plant dubbed Unit 1 of Olkaria V geothermal power plant.

The Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) said the new plant was first synchronized to the grid on June 28 and thereafter subjected to commissioning tests.

Currently, 70 percent of Kenya's installed electricity is derived from renewable sources, which is more than three times the global average.

Besides electricity generation, KenGen has announced plans to start offering expert services in energy matters such as sale of steam, provision of consultancy services, commercial drilling, heating and other services across Africa.

"Consistent with our long-term plan, we are continuously working on increasing our renewable energy to provide affordable energy to Kenyans while safeguarding the environment. This, in turn, will lead to the provision of stable energy to power households and industries across the country," Rebecca Miano, managing director of KenGen said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

Miano said the additional capacity would play a significant role in supporting Kenya's power needs while enhancing the amount of green energy in the national grid.

She said the completion of the Unit 1 of Olkaria V geothermal power plant and subsequently injecting 79 MW to the national grid brings to 612MW the total amount of installed geothermal power capacity by KenGen.

Miano said the total amount of installed geothermal power capacity will be significant in ensuring that the country's power needs are met through the continuous use of green energy solutions.

Currently in its last stages of development, Olkaria V geothermal power plant is expected to inject a total of 158 MW to the grid once Unit 2 is synchronized to the grid at the end of August.

This will further enhance KenGen's position as the leading electricity generating company in East Africa and greatly support the country's Big Four Agenda and the Vision 2030 development blueprint. 

XINHUA