Geothermal Development Company (GDC) is expected to pump an extra 105 Megawatts into the national grid from the Menengai geothermal field in the next three months.
The move comes after President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that the government would reduce industrial power tariffs by 50 per cent from January as one way of supporting investors.
This emerged when 63 students from 17 countries graduated in a short course on geothermal energy in Naivasha.
Addressing the press after the ceremony, the GDC chief executive Johnson Nchoe said plans were underway to construct three power plants in Menengai.
He added that the geothermal generating company had also started works in parts of Baringo after it emerged that parts of the county had the potential to develop geothermal energy. “GDC is committed to producing more geothermal power. Currently, the new Menengai power plant should be ready by March next year,” he said.
He added that the company would open a geothermal college in Naivasha next year targeting students from Nakuru, Baringo, Narok and Kajiado counties.
KenGen managing director Rebecca Miano was optimistic that the company would achieve its target of reducing power tariffs as directed by the president. She said that this would be achieved through increasing power production from geothermal and hydro and reducing use of thermal energy.
“Currently geothermal and hydro power, which are cheaper, cannot meet the demands of the nation but we are committed to producing more electricity,” she said.
To this end, Miano said that works in the Olkaria V power plant were at 22 per cent with the 140mw plant set to be commissioned in July 2019.
“On the industrial park in Olkaria Naivasha, visibility studies have been done and we shall be going to the tendering exercise in the coming weeks,” she said.
UN University geothermal training programme deputy director Ingimar Haraldson called for training of more experts in the field.
“Kenya among other African countries has high potential of geothermal power and this can be tapped by getting more experts,” he said.