The construction of Kenya's long-awaited 400kV Loiyangalani-Suswa power transmission line, which will evacuate 310MW of wind power from the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, has officially been completed.
Energy Cabinet Secretary, Charles Keter, recently pre-commissioned the 430 kilometres power line at Loiyangalani in Marsabit County ahead of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s official launch later this month.
Ag. MD & CEO Kenya Power Eng. Jared Othieno with Energy PS. Eng. Joseph Njoroge during the switching on of the 220kV Lake Turkana Wind Power Project where power will be evacuated to Suswa Transmission Subsation for onward distribution #PoweringPeople ^DM pic.twitter.com/NvluLEPil2
— Kenya Power Limited (@KenyaPower) September 11, 2018
Keter said the injection of renewable energy from the Turkana Wind Power project and additional 55MW from Garissa solar power will reduce the cost of power in the country.
He highlighted that the use of renewable energy has reduced the country’s reliance on diesel power. He added that the country now only uses 14% of diesel power down from 50%.
“With the rise of the price of fuel you would automatically expect to see the Fuel Cost Charge going up but with the injection of power from this line which is roughly 350MW it means from the current 700MW diesel power use we will hardly be running on 200MW of diesel,” said Keter.
He said only isolated areas like Mandera that are not connected to the grid will use diesel power.
Lake Turkana Wind Power
The Energy Cabinet Secretary said Kenyans will fully enjoy the benefits of the power line and the Lake Turkana Wind Power project in December this year when the project will be fully operational.
The power transmission line will also enhance communication in Northern Kenya as it carries a fibre optic cable for the entire length of the line.
The Loiyangalani-Suswa power transmission line, which is said to be the largest wind power project in Africa, was completed on time and has been handed over to Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited (KETRACO).
Energy Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge disclosed that the power line can transmit up to 1,200MW. Read more: Lake Turkana wind power project on course to connect by September
“Because of foresight we did not construct a line for only 310MW, one line should be able to do up to 600MW which means the two can do 1,200MW,” said Njoroge.