Kenya sets eyes on the power trade business with recent efforts to improve its grid network to connect with its neighbours. One of the two major grid networks, The Olkaria – Lessos – Kisumu network, will be completed by the end of March 2021. The 308km line financed to a tune of Ksh. 16 Billion by the Government of Kenya and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will evacuate geothermal power from Olkaria to Kisumu through Lessos.
The construction of the 308km line has been done in three lots. The lots have circuit transmission lines of 400 / 330 and 132 kV. Additionally, the construction of two substations at Kibos and Olkaria has also been completed. This connection will move power generated in the South Rift, where there is immense potential to the country’s western part where demand for stable and reliable energy is growing.
Currently, the Kisumu region is serviced by power from Sondu Miriu Hydropower and the Tororo – Musanga power line. Kisumu, which will host the 2021 Africities Conference 2021, will benefit immensely from access to stable and reliable Geothermal power. The power line will also provide opportunities to link the country’s national grid to its neighbouring countries, facilitating regional trade of affordable Renewable Power.
Energy is an enabler for social, economic and political transformation towards a globally competitive KenyaMr Jerome Ochieng PS State Department of ICT & Innovation
Eastern Electricity Highway
In other good news, the Eastern Electricity Highway is to be completed by the end of June 2021. The 1,045 km power line is to connect grid power between Kenya and Ethiopia. Kenya was the remaining partner between the two countries yet to finish constructing the power line from its end, albeit it was building the most extended length of the project. Ethiopia completed constructing its 437km gridlines while Kenya was to construct 622km.
The two grid systems are to meet at Moyale town. The line is set to be the longest line in Kenya transmitting DC (Direct Current) power, with majority of the Kenyan National grid transmit AC (Alternate Current) power. The line has a capacity of transmitting 2,000MW of power. By International standards, power transmitted over long distances over 600km is transmitted through DC Power. It was constructed with the potential to transmit power from the upcoming Ethiopia Hydroelectric Dam as well as the growing capacity of power generation from the Kenyan Geothermal and Renewable energy sector.