KenGen installs electric vehicle charging station in Nairobi, launches 83MW plant

KENYAKenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) has installed an electric vehicle charging station in Nairobi as the State agency joins other actors steering the push for e-mobility.

Catherine Nyambala, an engineer at KenGen, said the power producer will in the coming days ship in electric cars to test the station and help with data that is key to boosting policy legislation for e-mobility.

“At KenGen, we have an electric vehicle charging station already installed and soon we are bringing in the electric vehicles to help in data collection for e-mobility,” Mrs Nyambala said.

“E-mobility is the fastest way that as a country we are going to do the transition because of displacement of fuel.”

E-mobility is a critical plank in the global push to reduce pollution through the use of clean-powered vehicles that will significantly cut the reliance on diesel and super.

This comes barely a month after Kenya rolled out the first electric bus as the shift to e-mobility gathers pace.

Kenyan electric vehicle start-up BasiGo introduced a KSh5 million (US$4,2571) passenger electric bus in March in anticipation of increased demand for environmentally friendly transport.

The 25-seater bus is designed by the world’s largest manufacturer of electric buses BYD Automotive and has a 250-kilometre range with a recharging period of fewer than four hours.

Kenya Power said that it has enough power to charge electric vehicles. It said that has enough electricity to charge 50,000 buses and two million motorcycles during off-peak hours.

KenGen opens new 83 MW plant at Olkaria

This is as KenGen adds 83 megawatts of electricity to the national grid, boosting the government’s efforts to provide affordable power to consumers.

KenGen chief executive Rebecca Miano said that the plant will push the State-owned power producer’s share of installed geothermal capacity to 42 percent.

The government is banking on increased power supply from KenGen whose charges are lower than those of independent power producers.

“Olkaria 1 Unit 6 which is 83 megawatts last week marked the successful commissioning of that plant and it is now injecting power into the grid,” Ms Miano said on the sidelines of the inaugural sustainable energy conference in Olkaria.

The conference has drawn participants from the government, energy sector, and financial institutions and is aimed at coming up with measures of addressing challenges that hamper scale-up in the generation and use of clean energy.

Construction of the plant started in December 2018 as Kenya embarked on generating affordable and clean power to spur economic growth.

The plant will increase the share of geothermal energy that Kenya Power sells to consumers from the current 37.3 percent.

Wind and solar energy account for 16 and one percent, bringing to 54.3 percent the share of clean energy in the national grid.

Power from hydro sources accounts for 30 percent while diesel-powered thermal plants provide 10 percent.

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