17 September 2007 – New systems are being installed by Kenya’s power companies that will save consumers from outages and irregular supplies.
With an average of 33 outages a year, manufacturers have been forced to install generators to ensure constant power supply. Together with power surges, a loss of approximately 9.3 percent of total annual sales is being experienced due to production losses.
Outages have been aggravated by an aggressive connection programme being undertaken in Kenya.
Consumption in the manufacturing sector is expected to rise from 5.1 billion Kilowatt hours in 2005 to 6.9 billion kilowatt hours by 2010. Peak demand is expected to rise from 983MW to 2 397MW by 2025.
KenGen and the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) have now contracted international firms to provide systems to control the transmission and distribution networks.
One of the systems is a supervisory control and data acquisition and energy management system (SCADA/EMS) from ABB.
The system is intended to improve the efficiency, reliability and quality of the power supply.
"The new system also opens a new telecommunication channel with KPLC’s substations," said Migwi Theuri, KPLC’s communication manager.
"The system is meant manage KPLC’s power requirement. It will be able to tell when the demand for power is high or low to enable us switch off or switch on the generators."
The system will monitor outages and low supply areas and maintain power delivery during daily peaks and lows. It will also give KPLC a place in the telecommunications sector, as fibre optic cables have been installed throughout the transmission system.
The system, which is financed by the European Investment Bank is the largest to date under the Energy Sector Recover Project and is expected to be complete by November 2009.