- Multiconsult recently announced that it will conduct feasibility studies for the construction of three floating solar power plants in the basins of three hydroelectric dams owned by Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen).
- The technical studies have been commissioned by the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen).
The studies will be carried out in the Kamburu, Kiambere and Turkwell hydroelectric dam basins. The reservoirs of these dams are very large. The Kamburu dam, for example, covers an area of 60 km² and contains 123,000,000 m³ of water. Multiconsult’s brief is to assess the social, environmental and climatic aspects, as well as the risks associated with the existence of floating solar power plants in the basins of these hydroelectric dams.
“The hybridization of hydroelectric dams with floating solar power plants will facilitate the appropriate and cost-effective management of electricity and water. This can reduce dependence on conventional power plants and oil/coal-fired plants and thus reduce carbon emissions,” says Syed Ali, Multiconsult’s senior consultant and project manager.
KenGen, which operates the Kamburu, Kiambere and Turkwell hydropower plants, is forced to find alternatives in the face of declining river flows. This phenomenon is caused by the drought that has been affecting eastern and southern Africa in recent years.
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According to Multiconsult officials, photovoltaic solar panels installed in the reservoir of a dam could reduce water evaporation. KenGen’s initiative is supported by the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), the German development agency.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal