Power TransmissionTransmission and distribution system
Electricity transmission is the process by which large amounts of Electricity produced at power plants (such as hydro, geothermal, thermal and wind), is transported over long distances for eventual use by consumers. Due to the large amount of power involved, and the properties of Electricity, transmission normally takes place at high voltage (132-kilovolt or above) to reduce losses that occur over long distances.
Electricity is usually transmitted to a substation near a populated area. At the substation, the high voltage Electricity is converted to lower voltages suitable for consumer use, and then transmitted to end users through relatively low-voltage Electricity distribution lines that are owned and operated by the national Electricity utility.
In Kenya, Kenya Transmission Company (KETRACO) has been mandated to design, construct, operate and maintain new high voltage electricity transmission infrastructure that will form the backbone of the National Transmission Grid.
In carrying out this mandate, the Company is expected to develop a new and robust grid system in order to:
- Improve the quality and reliability of electricity supply throughout the country;
- Provide electricity to areas that are currently not supplied from the national grid;
- Provide a link with neighboring countries in order to facilitate power exchange and develop electricity trade in the region;
- Reduce transmission losses that currently cost the country about US$17 million per year; and
- Reduce the cost of electricity to the consumer by absorbing the capital cost of transmission lines since they will be fully funded by the government of Kenya.
In line with this mandate, the company has identified for implementation on priority basis a total of 1,471km of 132KV lines, 645km of 220KV lines, 608km of 400KV lines and 686km of 500KV HVDC lines to be implemented over the next 3-4 years.
The company will identify more transmission line projects that will serve the projected power supply equitably and in a holistic manner. Since electricity access is fundamental for development and achieving the Vision 2030, KETRACO’s contribution to the development of the Master Plan will be critical.