Olkaria I Geothermal Power Station
|Olkaria I Geothermal Power Station|
Map of Kenya showing the location of Olkaria I Geothermal Power Station
|Location||Olkaria, Nakuru County|
|Commission date||1981 (unit 1)|
1982 (unit 2)
1985 (unit 3)
2014 (unit 4)
2015 (unit 5)
2021 (unit 6) Expected
|Units operational||3 x 15 MW|
2 x 70 MW
|Nameplate capacity||185 megawatts (248,000 hp)|
The facility is located in the Hell's Gate National Park along with its sister stations, Olkaria II and Olkaria III. This location lies in Olkaria, in Nakuru County, on the eastern edge of the Eastern Rift Valley, approximately 43 kilometres (27 mi), by road, southwest of Naivasha, the nearest large town. Olkaria is approximately 122 kilometres (76 mi), by road, northwest of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya and the largest city in that country.
Olkaria I Geothermal Power Station is one in a series of six geothermal power stations, clustered in the Olkaria area in Nakuru County. Four of the stations Olkaria I, Olkaria II, Olkaria III and Olkaria IV are operational. Olkaria V is under construction and Olkaria VI is planned for 2021.
The Olkaria I Power Station first started operation in 1981 running one Mitsubishi turbine with a generation capacity of 15MW. In 1982 and 1985, two more turbines identical to the first were commissioned at the facility, bringing the total generation capacity to 45MW. As of January 2015 unit 4 and 5 with a combined installed capacity of 140 Megawatts were inaugurated. This brings the total installed capacity of Olkaria I to 185 Megawatts.
In March 2016, the government of Kenya borrowed KSh9.53 billion (US$95 million), from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to refurbish turbines 1, 2 and 3 at Olkaria I. The works includes increasing the combined capacity of the three turbines from 45MW to 50.7MW. The rehabilitation and upgrade works are expected to last until 2021. This will increase capacity at this power station from 185 megawatts (248,000 hp) to 190.7 megawatts (255,700 hp).
In December 2018, Kenya Electricity Generating Company broke ground for the construction of Unit 6 of Olkaria I Geothermal Power Station, with capacity of 83 megawatts. Completion of this unit is expected in 2021, bringing total capacity at this geothermal station to 273.7 megawatts (367,000 hp).
Olkaria I Power Station is owned by KenGen, a Nairobi Stock Exchange - listed company, in which the government of Kenya maintains 70 percent shareholding, the remaining 30 percent being held by institutional and private investors.
- List of power stations in Kenya
- Geothermal power in Kenya
- Olkaria II Geothermal Power Station
- Olkaria III Geothermal Power Station
- Olkaria IV Geothermal Power Station
- Olkaria V Geothermal Power Station
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