Kenya Power upgrades infrastructure to curb power outage in Kakamega
Written by John Kabaka
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The Amalemba Kenya Power substation similiar to sub-station whose current output is 2.5 KVA are being upgraded to be able to produce 7.5 KVA. This is with an aim of curbing power outage within Kakamega County. Photo | John Kabaka | West Fm]
Kenya Power is upgrading its infrastructure to address the intermittent power outages in Kakamega town and its environs according to its manager in charge of Kakamega Daniel Okubi who attributed the frequent power fluctuations in the region to sudden increase in load precipitated by rapid development of Kakamega town and increased electricity connectivity to consumers.
He said existing infrastructure in the area was unable to meet the high demand and peak hours. Okubi says the power firm was already upgrading the two power sub-stations; the Amalemba and Ingoste sub-stations whose current output is 2.5 KVA to produce 7.5 KVA.
The plan, he disclosed will also see the Cheptulu sub-station upgraded from the current 2.5 KVA to 7.5 KVA by the end of August. Other measures to ease the fluctuations include installation of new power transformers in areas they never existed and replacement of others.
Okubi also said the company was considering putting up a third power sub-station at an identified plot in the neighborhood of Masinde Muliro University of Science and technology (Mmust) to address the challenge of power supply to the university.
Kenya Power engineer in charge of the Western Kenya region Daniel Obiero addressing an energy sector policy public hearing at the Kakamega county council hall said the construction of a 33KVA power line from Rwambwa in Siaya County to Butere in Kakamega County would mitigate the challenges of electricity supply in the area.
According to the policy, the country's power needs are expected to grow steadily to 15,000 Mega watts by 2030 from the current peak load level of 1,200 MW.
Kenya produces 1533 MW of power currently with hydro generation accounting for 50 percent-767 MW. It’s believed that 1449MW of power has not been harnessed.
The meeting was told that the country expects to install it first nuclear power plant, a 1,000MW in 2022 according to the policy when the peak demand at that time is estimated to be 6,048MW.
The policy wants dependency on hydro for power reduced to 5 percent from current 50 percent by the year 2030 and that demand mitigated majorly by geothermal accounting for 26 percent followed by nuclear at 19 percent.
Other sources of power are to be drawn from Coal plants (13 percent), thermal plants (9 percent) same as wind plants, while gas turbines is expected to produce 11 percent. The power import level is put at 8 percent.