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KenGen to set up 42.5 MW solar plant at seven forks to boost power generation

KenGen to set up 42.5 MW solar plant at seven forks to boost power generation

Kisumu

Thursday May 9, 2024

KNA by Chris Mahandara

The Kenya Electricity Generation Company (KenGen) has secured approvals to establish a 42.5 MW solar PV plant at the seven forks to scale up power generation in the country.

Through the initiative, KenGen targets to utilise the sun’s intensity during the day to generate power and conserve water at the country’s largest hydropower dams for power generation at night.

KenGen Managing Director (MD) Peter Njenga said the project will not only inject more power into the national grid but ensure a stable supply of electricity to catalyse economic development.

Eng Njenga said all the approvals for the project have been finalised paving the way for the construction phase of the project which will be commissioned soon.

Speaking during the 12th KenGen Good to Great Global Innovation Seminar in Kisumu, the MD said the new project signifies the company’s commitment to innovation and embracing renewable energy to meet the country’s energy needs.

KenGen, he added, was embarking on several other projects to maximise available resources to stabilise power generation and provide affordable and competitively priced electricity for Kenyans.

He pointed out the Gogo Power Station in Migori County which is being upgraded from the current 2MW to 8.6MW.

“This is one of our most important stations at KenGen at the moment as it carries the promise of our growth at a time when capacity expansion seemed impossible,” he said.

KenGen, he added, was taking advantage of the ongoing rains, to scale up hydropower generation to ensure more electricity is available for Kenyans.

“Here in the Western Region, we have increased our hydro electricity generation at Sondu and Sangoro power stations as well as Turkwel due to the increased rainfall,” he said.

The dams under KenGen management, he said have helped reduce the effects of flooding especially in the downstream of Tana River.

The hydropower dams in the Seven Forks, he said have reached full supply capacity and now hold a combined volume of more than 2.6 billion cubic meters against a total flow from River Tana estimated at five (5) billion cubic meters.

“This means that our Seven Forks dams hold the bulk of the water flowing from River Tana, way more than half the volume, which would otherwise be flooding areas downstream of the Dams thereby reducing the damage caused by the ongoing rains,” he said.

Turkwel Dam however, he disclosed was far from reaching its maximum capacity saying there was no cause for alarm for those living near the dam.

“As we speak, the dam level is far from reaching the maximum level of 1,150 meters above Sea level. We are at 1,136 meters,” he said.

KenGen Board Chairman Julius Ogamba said plans were underway to raise Masinga dam by 1.5 metres to enhance water management capabilities and scale up hydropower generation.

The company, he said, was committed to environmental conservation with over 350,000 trees planted over the last one year.

“By March this year we had already planted 270,000 trees with an additional 180,000 seedlings earmarked for this quarter,” he said.

Courtesy; KNA

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