Kenya continues to boost power production in the area of geothermal energy with the latest news being the discovery of a huge geothermal well at Paka Hills, Baringo County, with a capacity of producing 22MW of electricity.
This latest discovery brings GDC’s total potential output in the region to 70MW.
Commenting on the latest discovery, Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary, Davis Chichir described the discovery as a significant milestone which brings Kenya closer to lowering the cost of power.
“It’s a moment of pride for Kenya. By the end of this year, we should be going to tender and invite investors to convert the steam here into electricity,” he said.
He said Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO) would start to work on the modalities of evacuating power from Paka Hills to the national grid. It is expected that power from Paka Hills would be cheaper, estimated to cost less than seven US cents.
According to him, an independent power producer in Menengai, Nakuru, is already producing 35MW of power geothermal selling at 6.9 US cents.
“That’s very competitive. It explains why the government is committed towards the development of geothermal resources in the country,” the CS said.
“With such low tariffs and considering that geothermal is green energy, Kenya will attract investors who will also take advantage of our infrastructure like the SGR, ICT and educated workforce,” he added.
The Managing Director and CEO of Geothermal Development Company (GDC), Paul Ngugi said hitting such huge geothermal wells saves time and costs.
“On average, a geothermal well would produce 5MW. Therefore, hitting 22MW is like drilling four wells for one which is a terrific achievement,” he said.