Construction of a geothermal power plant on the Menengai Crater floor is set to start in December 2019. GDC and transmission giant KETRACO have already begun the development of a transmission line to link the power plant to the National Grid.
In 2014, the state awarded three Independent Power Producers (IPPS) operational licences to set up the Geothermal Power plants. These companies; Sosian Menengai, Quantum Power East Africa and OrPower22, have been able to secure funds to start the construction in December.
They are targeting to produce 105 MW cumulatively, with each company expected to produce 35MW.
GDC, which started drilling in 2011, has drilled 49 wells with 24 active ones producing a capacity of 169 MW. According to GDC GM Cornel Ofuna, phase II of Menengai crater development is on course.
It is targeted to add an additional 60 MW to the national grid. GDC’s exploration in the Rift Valley is also taking shape with Baringo-Silai project expected to produce 300MW of Geothermal Power.
Despite the challenges of prospecting for geothermal, Kenya is on course to be a leader in clean energy production. Currently, Kenya produces slightly over 700MW from geothermal power stations.
“Our effort of de-risking the geothermal sector is paying dividends. Once we are proving viability of the resource, it becomes easier for private investors to inject their capital. That way, we are going to accelerate the development of georthermal energy in Kenya,”GDC Managing Director & CEO Eng.Johnson P. Ole Nchoe