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KenGen explores Internet of Things for its geothermal plants

KenGen CEO Rebecca Miano said the company plans to deliver steam for Unit of Olkaria V one by January 2019 and for Unit two by April 2019.

NAIVASHA, Kenya, Nov 1 – KenGen has commissioned a study on how its geothermal plants can deploy Internet of Things to boost the operational and maintenance of the power plants.

Speaking during a status update of the Olkaria V power plant in Naivasha, KenGen Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Miano said the power generator has commissioned a three-year study that will look into how KenGen can deploy Internet of Things.

“We have received some grant through JICA and UNIDO to improve our O&M (operations and maintenance) for geothermal generations using Internet of Things with the aim of reducing our costs,” said Miano.

Internet of Things (IoT) is a technology that allows devices or components to communicate with each other via the internet.

The study will explore how the KenGen plants and equipment can work smarter and efficiently by enhancing automated collaboration.

Miano also said the company is using better drilling methods and latest equipment making the drilling process faster and more efficient.

Olkaria V Geothermal plant will inject 165.4 MW into the country’s national power grid by June 2019 costing Sh450 billion.

Construction contracts have been financed through a combination of KenGen’s internally generated funds and a loan facility from Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) that was signed in March 2016.

KenGen completed the drilling of the geothermal wells that will supply steam to drive the power plant in 2016. The power generated at the plant will be evacuated through high voltage power lines from Olkaria to Suswa sub-station.

The commissioning of Olkaria V will lead to a total installed capacity of geothermal power for KenGen to 699 MW.

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In the last financial year, the company’s revenue generated from geothermal power plants increased from 16.1 billion in 2017 to 17.1 billion in 2018 which translated to a growth of six percent.

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