Kenya Electricity Generating Company has connected the entire 280 MW of geothermal power being generated at the Olkaria geothermal power plant to the national grid, a move expected to further lower the cost of electricity in the country.
Olkaria 1 additional Unit 5, the last component of the 280MW project is now feeding 72 MW to the national grid. The reliability tests, currently ongoing, will be completed at the end of this month.
The 280MW project comprises Olkaria IV, which has a capacity of 140 MW, commissioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta on October 17, and Olkaria 1 additional units 4 and 5, which each have a capacity of 70 MW.
In announcing the grid connection, KenGen Managing Director Albert Mugo said, "We not only see it as a score for KenGen, but also for Kenyans in general as it helps to further reduce the cost of power by displacing the expensive thermal fuel.
“At the same time, it will help stabilise the country’s power supply by reducing dependence on hydro, which is prone to weather variations,” he continued.
KenGen currently delivers about 1,575 MW to the national grid on a monthly basis, with geothermal and hydro providing a significant amount of that electricity.