Hydropower Stations in Kenya
As of 2007, Kenya’s hydropower stations have had a total installed capacity of 677.3 MW.
The power stations comprise:
- the Seven Forks Hydro Stations
- the Mini Hydro Stations
- Turkwel Power Station
Seven Fork Hydro Stations
Seven Forks Hydro Stations are situated along the lower part of the Tana River. They comprise:
- Masinga Power Station
- Kamburu Power Station
- Gitaru Power Station
- Kindaruma Power Station
- Kiambere Power Station
The five stations have an installed capacity of 543.2 MW. Water has been cascaded from one station to the next, taking advantage of the head created by each dam to produce power. To provide adequate flow during the dry periods, water is stored at Masinga Reservoir and released during the dry season. Two other sites along the river, Mutonga and Grand Falls were yet to be developed in 2007.
Masinga Power Station
Masinga Power Station has an installed capacity of 40 MW, and was commissioned in 1981. Two vertical Kaplan turbines drive two generators capable of generating 40 MW of power. The power generated is transmitted to Kamburu power station for transmission to Nairobi. In addition to the 40MW produced by this station, Masinga serves as a crucial reservoir, which has a capacity of 1.56 billion cubic meters of water. This reservoir is used for water regulation throughout the year. The dam occupies a surface area of 120 km².
Kamburu Power Station
Kamburu Power Station has an installed a capacity of 94.2 MW and was commissioned in 1974. Kamburu is the first underground power station in the complex. Electric power from Kamburu is conveyed to Nairobi via two 220 kV transmission lines from a primary 132 kV substation. Water is conveyed to Gitaru Power Station via a 2.9 km tailrace tunnel.
Gitaru Power Station
Gitaru Power Station has an installed capacity of 225 MW, and was commissioned in 1978 (145 MW) and 1999 (80 MW) Gitaru is the biggest power station in Kenya in terms of installed capacity. The power produced is transmitted to Kamburu 132 kV substation via two 132 kV circuits. The discharge from Gitaru Station is conveyed through a 5 km tailrace tunnel which empties into Kindaruma reservoir.
Kindaruma Power Station
Kindaruma Power Station has an installed capacity of 44 MW, and was commissioned in 1968. Kindaruma is the first station to be constructed in the Seven Forks complex. Power from Kindaruma is transmitted directly to Nairobi via a 132 kV line or to Kamburu 132 kV substation. The water is then passed down to Kiambere - the latest development in the complex.
Kiambere Power Station
Kiambere Power Station has an installed a capacity of 144 MW, and was commissioned in 1988. The reservoir’s capacity is 585 million m³. As it is currently the last dam on the Tana, the machines run mostly as base load hence the large power output. The underground powerhouse is situated 4 km away from the saddle dam where the intake structure is located. The water conveyance is by a 6m-diameter headrace tunnel.
- GTZ (2007): Eastern Africa Resource Base: GTZ Online Regional Energy Resource Base: Regional and Country Specific Energy Resource Database: II - Energy Resource.