Kenya Electricity Generating Co (KenGen) says its new geothermal plant has added 79 megawatts to the national grid.
KenGen said on Tuesday in Nairobi that the remainder of a total 158 MW to be produced by the plant would be connected by August.
The Olkaria V plant in Kenya’s Rift Valley under construction since 2017, was first synchronised to the grid on June 28 and its first unit has reached its full design output, with a second unit next to come on line.
The plant underscores Kenya’s reliance on geothermal power, in which turbines are driven by steam pumped from hot underground rock formations and ranks as the second-biggest source of Kenya’s installed power generation totaling 2,712 MW as of 2018.
KenGen said in a statement that the extra output from the first unit of Olkaria V would bring its total installed capacity from geothermal sources to 612MW.
KenGen, 70 per cent owned by the government, has a total installed capacity of 1,693 MW.
The company said in 2018 that it planned to add another 1,745 megawatts (MW) of electricity from geothermal sources by 2025.
Kenya is ramping up electricity production and investing in its grid to keep up with growing demand for power and reduce frequent blackouts.
The country is ranked 37th worldwide in EY’s renewable energy country attractiveness index issued in April.