Aerial view of the Olkaria I AU 6
KenGen has completed construction of the 83 megawatt Olkaria I Unit 6 power plant, setting in motion plans to add it to the national power grid.
The milestone follows successful delivery of full steam6 to the station in readiness for the technical processes necessary for commercial operation expected to commence by June, 2022.
KenGen Managing Director and CEO, Rebecca Miano, lauded the milestone as a big step towards Kenya’s progress to achieving 100% utilization of renewable energy by 2030.
“The construction of Olkaria I Unit 6 is aligned to the company’s long-term strategy and Kenya’s Least Cost Power Development Plan (LCPDP) focused on a sustainable supply of renewable energy in support of the Government’s Big Four Agenda,” Miano said.
She added that this will ensure a reliable supply of clean electricity to drive Kenya’s economic development agenda.
The completion of the power plant is a win on two fronts 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.
The plant which is expected to inject 83.3MW into the national grid is currently undergoing reliability tests to confirm its output.
This is the final process signalling completion of the construction period.
The initial steam admission, which is an integral part of verifying the performance of the turbine was conducted by the turbine manufacturer, Fuji Electric Global in conjunction with the project Contractor, Marubeni Corporation.
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 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.
Currently, geothermal accounts for up to 39 per cent of KenGen’s total power generation capacity.
With the additional 83MW, geothermal is expected to grow from the current 713MW to 796MW and push KenGen’s geothermal capacity to about 42 per cent.
Construction of Olkaria I Additional Unit 6 geothermal power plant commenced in December 2018 after a groundbreaking ceremony which was graced by President Uhuru Kenyatta.