Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Green Energy: Kenya Goes Geothermal (Thanks To Israel's Ormat)

Posted: 09 Dec 2008 06:10 AM PST

(Hat Tip: Cleantech Investing in Israel, Image: Ormat Olkaria III geothermal power plant in Kenya)

After being in the news due to past political riots (and family ties to the President Elect), it looks like the nation of Kenya has yet another reason for being in the spotlight--this time for embracing green technology.

(Ormat Press Release) Ormat Technologies, Inc. [...] announced today at an American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) event the completion of phase two construction at the Olkaria III geothermal power plant in Kenya. The power plant has been synchronized to the grid, adding 35 MW of base load capacity to the existing 13 MW plant that has been in continuous operation since 2001 with availability between 97% and 99%.

The expanded power plant will save 120,000 tons of imported oil, mitigate approximately 200,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year and reduce the average production cost of electricity in Kenya while reducing its dependence on imports.

"Ormat is proud to have built up the plant capacity to the original target of 48 MW," said Lucien Bronicki, Chairman and Chief Technical Officer of Ormat. "This accomplishment was made possible by Ormat's belief in Kenya's economy combined with the hard work and dedication of our Kenyan employees and colleagues."

This is great news for Kenya, as the African nation already imports about half a million barrels of oil from Sudan a month (which is probably not a good thing due to the genocide happening in the region).

Hopefully Israel (through Ormat) can help build more of these geothermal power plants, as it could help spur the African continent to not only become more energy independent, but set an example for the rest of the continent (if not the world as well).

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