The Kenya Electricity Generating Company PLC (KenGen) is set to host a Microsoft and G42 green data center campus at its Green Energy Park, which will run on 100% renewable geothermal power at the Olkaria Geothermal fields in Naivasha.

This announcement follows a landmark agreement made in Washington D.C. during President William Ruto’s state visit to the United States, where Microsoft and G42, a leading AI and cloud computing company based in the UAE, committed to developing a renewable energy-powered cloud data center in Kenya. As part of this ambitious project, G42 will build a sustainable, state-of-the-art data center campus powered entirely by geothermal energy from KenGen’s iconic Olkaria geothermal fields.

The $1 billion Microsoft-G42 Olkaria data center campus is scheduled to break ground in Q3 2024, with the East Africa Cloud Region expected to go live within 24 months. This visionary project is set to redefine industrialization in the region while providing a sustainable and clean source of geothermal energy.

The new ‘East Africa Cloud Region’, based in Kenya, will offer Microsoft Azure cloud services powered by G42’s green data centres. It will provide scalable, secure, and high-speed cloud computing and AI capabilities to accelerate digital transformation across Kenya, East Africa, and the continent.

President Ruto hailed the vision of the three nations coming together, stating, “This partnership embodies our aspiration to accelerate technological innovation and build a thriving digital economy for Africa and beyond.”

KenGen Managing Director and CEO Eng. Peter Njenga lauded the partnership between Microsoft and G42, saying KenGen was ready to provide the needed green energy to power the project.

“This is the second Tier IV Data Centre that KenGen Green Energy Park is hosting, following a groundbreaking ceremony last year with Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) in Olkaria, Naivasha, in a move we believe will catalyze industrialization in the region,” said Eng. Njenga.

The NSE-listed company CEO said the Energy Park aims to harness the abundant geothermal resources in Olkaria, providing a stable and renewable energy source for industries within the park. “Notably, the park presents an alluring opportunity for investors seeking collaboration with KenGen to establish industries within a green energy-focused environment,” he said.

Eng. Njenga went on to say: “KenGen Green Energy Park has become a hallmark of Kenya’s sustainable development and is a testament to our dedication to innovation, collaboration, and responsible growth. This is an open invitation for investors to join us in creating a greener, more prosperous future,” said Eng. Njenga.

According to KenGen, the Green Energy Park spanning an impressive 342 hectares, will accommodate a harmonious blend of industrial and non-industrial activities. The master-planned development encompasses offices, data centers, research and development centers, hospitality spaces, a visitor experience center, and administrative and commercial facilities.

With its geothermal power plants located in Olkaria, generating about 800MW of geothermal power from this field, Kenya boasts an impressive installed geothermal capacity of about 980MW, ranking seventh in the world in geothermal power generation.

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