Kenya Power has signed a70-megawatt power purchase agreement with Power Africa Initiative, boosting the country’s goal of adding 5,000MW to the installed capacity in the next two years. Power Africa is partly funded by the U.S president Barrack Obama.
The 25 –year PPA, Kenya Power will buy electricity from the Akiira Geothermal Ltd at sh. 9.3 which is close to the current cost of thermal power. The project is based in Akiira Valley, adjacent to Olkaria in Naivasha.
“The 70 megawatts are expected to be added to the grid by December 2016 in line with our energy targets,” Kenya Power managing director Ben Chumo told a Press briefing yesterday.
Last year October Akiira project received 101 million Kenya Shillings grant from Overseas Private Investment Corporation based in America to meet technical and legal expenses as part of President Obama’s policy initiative to light up the continent.
The Akiira geothermal project received a $1 million (Sh101 million) grant last October from the US-based Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to meet technical and legal expenses as part of President Obama’s policy initiative to light up the continent. Akiira chief executive Robert Bunyi pointed out that exploration and drilling of steam wells was ongoing.
Kenya aims to cut dependence on expensive power from diesel-run generators with cheaper, renewable energy sources both hydro and geothermal currently accounting for close to 85 per cent of the energy mix.
The Government of Kenya sets to achieve its target of injecting an additional 5,000MW to the grid by 2017. Today the country has an installed capacity of 2,298MW compared 1,708MW two years ago.
Kenya Power also signed an agreement with Kleen energy, owned by local investors form Embu to generate six megawatts of power by August next year at a feed –in-tariff of sh.9.2per unit.
The electricity distributor’s PPA requires a firm to construct, own, operate and maintain the project, with Kenya Power acting as the buyer of the power generated. Centum owns a 37.5 per cent equity stake in Akiira, with the remaining 62.5 per cent owned by American firms — Ram Energy and Marine Power — and Danish Frontier Markets. The signing of the PPA will be a major shot in the arm to power production.