Kenya to construct a new geothermal transmission line

KENYA has announced plans to construct a more efficient transmission line to supply geothermal power to the western region will help the country save close to $20 million worth of electricity annually lost through leakages during transportation.

According to Fernandes Barasa, the Managing Director at Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO),  through the 220kV/ 400kV Olkaria-Lessos-Kisumu line, western parts of the country will for the first time receive geothermal electricity, a cheap, green and renewable source.

Geothermal transmission line

The high voltage line will be 300km long and will connect Counties in Western Kenya to geothermal power plants in Olkaria, Naivasha. Upon completion, the line will save the millions that is lost through technical losses in the current 132kV lines that are overstretched at the moment. Fernandes further explained that additional savings will be realised through the shutting down of the current thermal generator at Muhoroni.

The West Kenya multi-million dollar project is financed by the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) and is slated for completion by April 2020. The construction has been split into three slots with three firms namely: Kalpataru, NARI Group and Sieyuan contracted to carry out the works.

The first lot involves construction of a 400 kilovolt (kV) line from Olkaria to Lessos (213km) with a capacity to carry up to 1,200 megawatts (MW) of electricity. Lot two runs from Lessos to Kisumu, a distance of 77km with the 220kV cable capable of carrying 400 MW of power.

The final lot involves construction of substation extensions at Olkaria, Lessos and Kisumu (Mamboleo), with a new switch yard at Kibos which will be crucial in providing feeders and offering Kisumu County with alternative supply, creating redundancy, hence less downtime.

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