Power bills set to drop as KenGen ups hydro production

Power generator KenGen is set to increase capacity from hydro power stations following the heavy rains that have raised water levels. According to KenGen, hydro power stations are now at optimal level to generate 820 megawatts of electricity and stabilize supply across the country. Hydro power, despite its erratic production, accounts for the largest chunk of Kenya’s energy mix at 52 percent. KenGen managing director Rebecca Miano said on Tuesday that the hydro dams are expected to reach optimal level by May and this is expected to see power bills come down. “By stepping up hydro generation, KenGen is ensuring stability of power supply as this will compliment contribution of the dominant geothermal,” Ms Miano said in a statement. The increase in hydro power production is expected ease the cost of power, as it is the cheapest source of power in the country’s generation mix. Power bills rose in 2017 following a prolonged drought which cut power production from hydro necessitating the increased demand from thermal power plants. Ms Miano said KenGen would also conserve the water at the dams to ensure it lasts until the next short rain season. The current rains affect eastern hydros of Masinga, Kamburu, Gitaru, Kindaruma and Kiambere as well as Turkwle and Sondu Miriu power stations. The Kenya Meteorological Department expects the heavy rains to continue till the end of the month as most parts of the country experience flooding. Kenya has been shifting its reliance to geothermal power over the years to curb the dips in electricity production during the dry season.

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