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Kenya: Expanding Distribution Grid With More Substations And Power Lines

“Strategic grid investments will provide sufficient capacity for the anticipated increase in energy demand resulting from new growth areas such as e-mobility and clean cooking as envisioned by the utility”
Joseph Siror
Managing Director & CEO, Kenya Power

Written by: Yunus Kemp

Kenya Power and Lighting Company is to construct new substations and power lines in order to strengthen the electricity distribution network.

The company announced this week that it plans to spend around $72 million (KES 10 billion) during the financial year commencing July 2023 on these projects.

Kenya has an installed electricity capacity of 3,321MW against a peak demand of 2,132MW. During off-peak, the demand drops to about 1,100MW.

“This creates a good opportunity for high-capacity electric vehicle charging which utilises the available unused power.

“Kenya Power has been at the forefront in championing the adoption of electric vehicles,” the company said in a press statement.

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At present, KenPower has nine million clients. Kenya Power’s Managing Director and CEO Joseph Siror said the investment is in line with the company’s strategy to strengthen the network.

“Strategic grid investments will provide sufficient capacity for the anticipated increase in energy demand resulting from new growth areas such as e-mobility and clean cooking as envisioned by the utility,” Siror said.

Distribution infrastructure also geared toward increase in e-vehicles in Kenya

“In the last two years, the country has witnessed an unprecedented interest from local and international stakeholders looking to invest and develop Kenya’s e-mobility sector.

“To adequately support e-mobility and other sectors of the economy, we will sustain investments to strengthen the grid and enhance network stability and flexibility for quality and reliable service.”

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The company said the uptake of electric vehicles is “equally gaining momentum in the country with more than 1,000 electric vehicles currently on Kenyan roads.”

“Today, our grid is robust to support electric vehicle charging, with a recent study indicating that Nairobi’s current power infrastructure is strong enough to support the switch to electric for 100% of the two-wheeler vehicles in the city, and 10% for other vehicles including private and commercial fleet,” Siror said.

“As the demand for electric vehicles continues to grow, Kenya Power will continue to prioritise generation from renewable energy sources such as solar, hydro, wind, biomass and geothermal as guided by the Least Cost Power Development Plan.”

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