Kenya Power, the leading utility firm, has unveiled plans to allocate Sh10 billion towards a comprehensive network expansion initiative aimed at providing electricity to more households.
Starting from July 2023, the company will focus on constructing substations and power lines as part of its strategy to fortify the network infrastructure. This significant investment, according to Joseph Siror, the Managing Director and CEO of Kenya Power, aligns with their vision to enhance the quality and reliability of power supply to their valued customers.
During the inauguration ceremony of BasiGo’s pioneering public electric bus charging station, Siror emphasized the importance of these strategic grid investments. He stated that they would bolster the network’s capacity to meet the expected surge in energy demand, which will arise from emerging sectors like e-mobility and clean cooking, in line with the company’s vision.
“Over the past two years, there has been an unprecedented interest from both local and international stakeholders, expressing their intent to invest and foster Kenya’s e-mobility industry,” Siror remarked.
“To adequately support e-mobility and other burgeoning sectors, we will continue investing in strengthening the grid, enhancing network stability, and improving flexibility to deliver high-quality and reliable services,” he added.
During the past decade, Kenya Power has successfully connected 9 million customers out of a total of 2.7 million. As the adoption of electric vehicles continues to rise, the company anticipates a further surge in demand.
Siror asserted, “At present, our power grid is robust enough to support electric vehicle charging, with a recent study indicating that Nairobi’s existing power infrastructure can accommodate the transition to electric power for 100% of the two-wheeler vehicles and 10% for other vehicles, including private and commercial fleets. We aim to strengthen this capacity further through strategic investments that enhance the network’s flexibility to support this rapidly growing industry.”
He also emphasized Kenya Power’s commitment to prioritize renewable energy sources such as solar, hydro, wind, biomass, and geothermal in line with the Least Cost Power Development Plan, as the demand for electric vehicles escalates.
Currently, the country boasts an installed capacity of 3,321MW, while the peak demand stands at 2,132MW. During off-peak hours, the demand decreases to approximately 1,100MW, presenting an excellent opportunity for high-capacity electric vehicle charging, efficiently utilizing the surplus power.
Apart from the planned grid expansion investment, Kenya Power has established an e-mobility steering committee to guide the organization towards fostering the success of the e-mobility sector.
Earlier this year, the company successfully applied to the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) for the introduction of an e-mobility tariff, which was subsequently approved in March. The debut beneficiary of this tariff is BasiGo’s public electric vehicle charging station.