Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday opened a new geothermal power plant, injecting an additional 83.3 MW into the national grid and further advancing the supply of green energy in the country.
Kenyatta said that the Olkaria I, Additional Unit (AU) 6 Geothermal Power Plant, operated by state-owned Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), is aligned with the least cost power development plan in support of the government’s national development blueprint. He said the commissioning of the power plant increases KenGen’s total installed energy capacity to 1,904 MW while its geothermal capacity now stands at 799 MW.
“Clean and safe energy is increasingly becoming vital in energy development, and it is through this approach that we shall attain universal access to electricity in our nation and meet key energy needs,” Kenyatta said during the launch in Naivasha, about 90 km northwest of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.
He noted that his government has put in place robust plans to ensure the country attains a 100 percent transition to clean energy by the year 2030.
Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma of the Ministry of Energy noted that Kenya will continue to fulfill its goal of providing clean and affordable energy for the nation with a focus on countering climate change. “The completion of this project represents an important moment in our efforts to reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels and create a more sustainable future for us all,” Juma said.
Samson Mwathethe, KenGen chairman, said that the project is vital for Kenya considering that an adequate supply of electricity is a primary enabler for its economic development. “Notably, the commissioning of Olkaria I Unit 6 propels us an inch closer to the Geothermal Gigawatt Club,” Mwathethe said.
Geothermal now accounts for up to 39 percent of KenGen’s total installed generation capacity. KenGen said that it aims to deliver more green energy projects in the medium and long-term focused on supporting the government’s economic growth agenda and clean energy development.