Turkana wind project’s 310MW to ease cost of electricity

Large consumers of electricity will receive a further marginal reduction on their power bills in the coming months after the government evacuates the 310 megawatt Turkana Wind Power to the national grid.

Last week officials of the Ministry of Energy and Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) told the Senate Committee on Energy that the commercial and industrial customers who consume 500 units and above and those in the lifeline who consume between 1-10 units a month are the biggest beneficiaries of the harmonised tariffs that took effect on July 1.

However, the regulator loaded heavier tariffs on domestic customers in urban areas who consume between 11-500 units a month.

According to the tariff chart, the lifeline tariff which was introduced to cushion around 3.4 million customers, mostly living in rural areas and consuming an average of eight units and not more than 10 units a month will now pay a standard Sh17.59 per unit, implying that they will not pay more than Sh180 a month, a reprieve of between 36 and 90 per cent.

Equally, the domestic consumers who consume 11-500 will pay a standard Sh22.19 per unit per month. The increment is about 10 per cent of what they used to pay previously.  While the rates for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who consume more than 500MW have marginally reduced to Sh21.95. However, the heavy consumers will enjoy a favourable five per cent on tariff reduction ranging between Sh15.93 and Sh20.71 per unit per month depending on the category.

During the meeting which was also attended by the Energy principal secretary Joseph Njoroge and the acting Kenya Power managing director Jared Otieno, ERC director general Pavel Oimeke said that the bills are expected to come down when the Lake Turkana Wind Power plant is commissioned in the next few days.

The plant which is expected to add 310MW to the national grid will help in replacing the costly thermal energy and allow Kenya Power to review the fuel levy on power bills.

The reduction of thermal power to around 10 per cent after wind energy is evacuated to the grid will mean that that Kenya Power will reduce the fuel levy, which is passed to customers whenever diesel and thermal generators are used to generate power, which is added to the grid.

Oimeke further said that Power Purchase Agreements, which expire in the next five years, will not be renewed.

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