Published on November 8th, 2011 | by Charis Michelsen3
Toshiba Dips Toes into African Lava: New Geothermal Plant to Go Online in 2014
Toshiba has been tapped to supply equipment for Kenya’s newest geothermal power generation project. The company will supply geothermal steam turbines and generators early next year, which will go online in April 2014. Once the new power plant is active, a quarter of Kenya’s energy supply will come from stable geothermal sources.
Kenya currently has 3 geothermal plants in the Olkaria volcanic region 60 miles northwest of Nairobi, which supply about 10% of its current electrical capacity. With equipment from Toshiba, Toyota Tsusho Corporation and Hyundai Engineering plan to bring the existing plants up to 70,000 kW each and build the Olkaria IV Geothermal Power Plant.
Stabilize That Grid!
The biggest chunk of Kenya’s current power supply comes from hydropower – nearly half, which makes it pretty green already. But as the weather is inconstant and Kenya suffers a drought, water just isn’t quite reliable enough. Geothermal power should help stabilize the grid and generate steady power supply.
The Olkaria project in part funded by a loan through the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA), and is Toshiba’s first foray into the African market; its reputation for safety and reliability made it a perfect fit for the new project. Toshiba itself is hoping that the project will help boost sales of its geothermal equipment.