The construction of a 300-km high voltage line that will connect the Counties in Western Kenya to the geothermal facilities of Olkaria has the potential of saving up to Sh2 billion worth of electricity lost through leakages.
This will be the first time that the counties in the western parts of Kenya will receive electricity from a geothermal source. The new transmission line is set to be completed early next year.
The 220kV/400kV Olkaria-Lessos-Kisumu line will be a major upgrade to the existing 132kV lines. Low voltage power lines are prone to heavy electricity loss during transmission. The costs of electricity loss have a direct impact on the electricity bills of consumers as these are factored into the tariff.
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The new transmission lines will also improve utilization of the Olkaria geothermal hub which is now producing surplus electricity. Moreover, the western region will be less reliant on the weather-dependent Sondo Miriu and Turkwel hydropower stations and can shut down the thermal generator at Muhoroni.
With a more reliable power supply, economic development in the western region of Kenya is expected to speed up.
The Sh18.2 billion project is financed by Japan through JICA. The project has been awarded to three firms namely Kalpataru, Sieyuan, and NARI Group.