Kenya’s geothermal power developer, GDC (Geothermal Development Company) has unveiled a new model for geothermal development in the country.GDC which seeks to produce 810MW of geothermal power by 2017 and 5000MW in the next 16 years has unveiled a way adding more geothermal power into the grid in the shortest time possible.

The model will allow GDC to use their own drilling rigs which are currently four and local drilling crew. This will in turn reduce the drilling cost by almost half.

“Part of our unique model is to undertake early generation of power using small (modular) power plants as we wait to build big conventional power plants”, says GDC in a statement.

The advantage of using modular power plants is that completed geothermal wells are used to generate electricity early as more steam is developed for huge power plants. The modular power plants of up to 10MW will be installed enabling the country to start enjoying cheaper energy while more wells are being drilled.

Unlike in the past where it took up to 15 years from commencement of drilling to the time power is connected to the national grid, a modular power plant takes 18 months to install.

GDC notes in a statement that three companies have already been identified to install a total of 100MW in Menengai by 2015 and has started a geothermal development plan in the north Rift region. We project that the Baringo-Silali Geothermal project will give us 200MW by 2016 and 800MW by 2018.

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Kenya Engineer is the definitive publication of Engineers in East Africa & beyond and the official journal of the Institution of Engineers of Kenya. Kenya Engineer has been in publication since 1972.

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