The Ksh.0.8 Billion 132kV Menengai - Solio Substation
The substation includes the construction of a 132kV substation at Menengai, extension of the bay in the existing Soilo substation and transmission line infrastructure connecting the two. Future plans are to evacuate 400MW via 400kV lines at the substation
Sitting on a raft foundation on the floor of the caldera in the Menengai crater, the Menengai - Solio Substation is 80% complete and tower erection at 70% Completion. The construction, which kicked off in April 2014 is to see the setting-up of a 132kV substation to evacuate power from the recent geothermal exploration at the crater.
The Geothermal Development Company, GDC has signed a power purchase agreement with 3 IPPs who will covert the steam power to electrical energy which will then be added to the national grid. A total of 105MW will be produced from the geothermal energy .The Menengai substation will transmit the power to Solio Substation, 12.6 km away.
Future plans are to increase the substation's capacity from 132kV to 400kV since steam output will rise to 400MW as more explorations are developed inside the crater. This is KETRACO's first project that is geared towards the evacuation of steam power from the Menengai Crater.
As mentioned earlier, the substation rests on a raft foundation that was designed due to the nature of the soil inside the crater. The Menengai crater was once an active volcano and hence the soil structure has many cavities and fault lines cutting across the whole site upto 3 meters deep.
The civil engineers designed this raft foundation which is to act as a separator membrane and hence form a stable and continuos foundation for all equipment and support structures on site.
The station will be completed in May 2016 and was fully funded by the Government of Kenya at a tune of Ksh. 0.8 Billion.
KETRACO is a state corporation incorporated in 2008 whose mandate is to design, build, construct and manage HV transmission lines across the country. The company is currently undertaking 35 projects across the country to evacuate power, strengthen the existing grid system, give access to areas that were off-grid previously and interconnect Kenya with neighbouring countries.
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