KenGen to fast track hydroelectric and geothermal deployment

KenGen to fast track hydroelectric and geothermal deployment
KenGen Kenya's 105 MW Olkaria II Geothermal Power Plant was commissioned in 2003. (Courtesy: KenGen)

Kenya Electricity Generating Company PLC (KenGen) has announced a renewed plan to scale up the deployment of renewable energy by adding 3,000 MW.

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Abraham Serem said the company revamped its corporate strategy and rolled out a 10-year strategy that seeks to add 3,000 MW. He further added that the company will be seeking to rehabilitate its existing power plants to make them more efficient for sustainable generation.

This new campaign will be driven largely by deploying up to 2,000 MW from geothermal and hydroelectric sources as baseload power to stabilize the country’s energy sources and diversify away from expensive thermal sources. At the same time, KenGen said it has put in place plans to optimize the existing hydro sources as it pushes for the development of new hydropower stations and the expansion of existing ones, particularly within the Tana River basin. Serem said KenGen would be looking to tap into the vast potential of geothermal energy in the Rift Valley region, which is estimated to be about 10,000 MW of clean and renewable energy.

“So far we have only exploited about 0.9 GW of the 10 GW geothermal potential and that is why a huge chunk of the additional capacity will be drawn from geothermal,” said Serem. “Our focus going forward is to secure the baseload capacity to stabilize Kenya’s energy supply mainly from green renewable energy.”

He singled out the upcoming 305 MW geothermal projects, with 280 MW coming from Olkaria and 25 MW from the Eburru geothermal power plant, for which he said construction would commence immediately after getting the requisite approvals. In addition, the company plans to leverage new technology to rehabilitate its oldest geothermal power plant, 45 MW Olkaria I, to give it a new life and increase its generation capacity to more than 60 MW.

Fervo Energy CEO Tim Latimer joined the Texas Power Podcast to discuss geothermal energy’s revival, lessons from the oil and gas industry, and the role of geothermal energy in the energy transition. Subscribe to the Texas Power Podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

On the western side of the country, KenGen has announced plans to rehabilitate its Gogo hydropower plant to increase its capacity by about 8 MW from the current 2 MW.

KenGen has an installed generation capacity of 1,904 MW, of which over 86% is drawn from green sources: hydro (826 MW), geothermal (799 MW), thermal (253 MW) and wind (25.5 MW).

Originally published on Hydro Review.