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Kenya Power: Why total restoration of power is taking longer than expected

Kenya Power reaches out to Uganda to fast track total restoration of power after nationwide outage

A Kenya Power worker on site

Kenya Power has revealed the cause of a power outage that saw many Kenyans stay without electricity for up to 15 hours

In a statement on August 26, Kenya Power said that on Friday, at about 9:45 p.m., the country experienced a nationwide power outage after losing 270MW generation from Lake Turkana Wind Power Plant (LTWP).

The loss triggered an imbalance in the power system and tripped all other main generation units and stations, leading to a total outage on the grid.

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"While there are situations where a plant could trip, our technical teams are analyzing the data from the protection relays to establish the root cause of the trip which caused a cascade failure of the system.

"The System Demand at the time was 1855.8 MW and therefore, a loss of approximately 15% of generation was expected to cause a widespread power outage," read the statement in part.

The company further said that mobilization for restoration of power supply commenced immediately after the lines carrying the affected generation were established.

Electricity from Seven Forks Hydro power stations was utilized to kick start the restoration exercise, an option that takes much longer compared to electricity import from Uganda (UETCL), which is faster but was unavailable at the time.

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Most of the grid was sequentially restored from Central and Eastern regions where the hydro generation is located and towards Nairobi.

By 11.45 a.m. on Saturday, power supply to many parts of the country had been restored.

"We are jointly working on having the Uganda interconnector restored so as to enhance our grid recovery efforts.

"Additionally, we are in the final stages of onboarding power from the Olkaria complex where most of the geothermal plants are located to allow the restoration of power supply to parts of Nairobi, Coast, Western, Central Rift, North Rift and South Nyanza that are still off supply," the statement from Kenya power read.

Meanwhile, the blackout, which had widespread repercussions including the disruption of critical installations such as Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), has prompted MPs to summon Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir and Kenya Power CEO Joseph Siror for an explanation.

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