The Geothermal Development Company (GDC) has received a 1.9 billion shillings ($18.6 million) grant for its Baringo-Silali geothermal project in western Kenya from the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF). The project has been steadily progressing under the Geothermal Development Company. It is intended to pave the way for geothermal exploration in western Kenya.
Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility
Established by the African Union (AU) Commission, GRMF is a sub-regional organization that finances and facilitates the development of geothermal energy in East Africa. The grant it has just secured for the geothermal project will help the GDC to execute new drilling. Practically, the company’s expenses will be compensated each time it completes a geothermal well. “This allocation of funds has showcased confidence in the GDC and also in geothermal energy as an energy of the present and the future,” Johnson Ole Nchoe, GDC’s Executive Director stated. This will be the second time that GRMF has awarded a grant to GDC for its Baringo-Silali geothermal project. In March 2019, GRMF had already been allocated a grant of 1.3 billion shillings ($13 million). This grant has enabled the company to experience progress on its project. In September 2019,it announced that the first geothermal well drilling was a success. Understood to be Paka I, it was drilled in Paka, which is one of the three sites of the Baringo-Silali geothermal project. An overall of six geothermal wells will be drilled in Paka, Salini, and Korosi. GDC expects that each site of the Baringo-Silali geothermal project will have a power plant that will use the steam emitted from the subsoil heat to run its turbines, which would provide 100 MW. The three sites will, therefore, provide a total of 300 MW. Experts estimate that the Baringo-Silali geothermal site can produce up to 3,000 MW.