Electricity sub station
Electrical distribution station. The country recorded a new energy gross demand peak of 36,381MWh mostly drawn from renewable energy sources as the economy responds positively to the lifting of some of the COVID-19 related restrictions. [Photo: Electrical Engineering Portal]

The coastal region is set to receive increased electricity supply from Q4 of 2020, the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO) has announced.

KETRACO says that the Mariakani substation that is currently under construction in Kilifi County  will enable the spike in power supply to the region.

The Ksh2.96 billion substation, projected to be complete by October 2020, will tap geothermal power from Olkaria, as well as take advantage of hydropower that is set to come into the country from neighbouring Ethiopia.

According to KETRACO, the Mariakani substation sits on 200 acres of land, and at 400/220 kilovolts is set to become the biggest step-down facility at the Coast.

Step down facilities are used to lower the voltage passing through distribution lines so that it can be connected to homes and businesses.

“Mariakani substation will offer reliable and stable power supply to the proposed Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zone area through the 220kV Dongo Kundu – Mariakani transmission line,” said KETRACO Managing Director FCPA Fernandes Barasa.

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KETRACO, the agency that deals with high voltage lines, also has step-up substations which raise the voltage of generated electricity so that it can be transmitted over long distances. Power transportation via high voltage lines reduces transmission losses, the firm says.

The Mariakani substation contract was awarded to Chinese firm CAMCE and is co-financed by the African Development Bank and the Kenyan government.

Supply of more geothermal and hydropower to the Coast is expected to cut reliance on expensive diesel generated electricity in the region.

Overall, KETRACO says lower bills for consumers across the country are expected, since power tariffs on the national grid are harmonised regardless of location and energy source.

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