Electricity generator KenGen has announced plans to step up hydropower generation following heavy rains being experienced in various parts around the country.
The announcement signals a relief on electricity consumers who have had to bear high power bills in recent months as Kenya Power purchased more thermal electricity to plug a supply deficit in the energy mix.
KenGen said in a statement that the increase in rainfall has seen water levels rise, allowing optimum power generation.
Masinga dam which is the largest of the Seven Forks cascade has risen to 1,045.86 meters against a maximum level of 1,056.50 meters, according to the statement from the state-owned power generator.
“By stepping up hydro generation, KenGen is ensuring the stability of power supply as this will compliment contribution of the dominant geothermal after a prolonged period of drought that affected all the hydro plants in the country,” said KenGen’s Managing Director & CEO Mrs. Rebeca Miano.
The dams are expected to reach the highest levels by the end of May 2018.
During normal hydrology, hydro dams account for 52.04% of the total national energy mix. KenGen’s total installed capacity, mainly comprising of hydro dams and geothermal generation currently stands at 820MW.
Hydropower is among the cheapest forms of electricity in Kenya owing to the fact that it is generated from a natural resource and that most of the hydro dams have already recovered their initial costs of investment.
In the absence of cheap sources of electricity, Kenya Power is forced to sell thermal electricity, mainly generate using diesel and whose cost varies depending on the prevailing prices of fuel and exchange rates.