State power generator, KenGen plans to break ground for construction of Olkaria V geothermal power project beginning May. The 158MW power plant worth KES40 billion will be mainly funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The project is part of the 720MW project that the firm is targeting to generate by 2020 at an estimated cost of about KES 206.24 billion. This is comprised of 631MW from its geothermal fields in Naivasha at an estimated cost of KES 183.95 billion and 90MW from wind farms in Meru (80 MW) and Ngong ( 10 MW) at a cost of KES 17.29 billion.
Olkaria V is expected to be ready for commissioning and connection to the national electricity grid by 2019.
According to data from Kenya Power, the country’s energy mix as at December 2016 improved to 41 per cent hydro, 13 per cent thermal and 40 per cent geothermal from the previous three years where it was 53 per cent hydro, 25 per cent thermal and 20 per cent geothermal.
Government is undertaking other projects in electricity access like Last Mile Connectivity project, a Vision 2030 project in efforts to achieve universal access to electricity across the country. To this effect, the National Treasury has so far signed a KES20bn deal for completion of the third phase of the project. The first phase of the Last Mile Connectivity project was benefitted about 314,200 households, resulting in electricity access to an additional 1.5 million Kenyans. It was financed by the government and African Development Bank at a cost of KES13.5 billion.