News

GDC pushes forward with pilot project on direct use

Discharging Well, Menengai Geothermal Field, Kenya (source: flickr/ GRC, creative commons)
Francisco Rojas 31 Aug 2015

GDC is seeing the potential that direct use of geothermal can provide to the local economy and to help diversify this renewable energy source.

Geothermal energy is known for having a myriad of uses beyond power generation. Kenya has seen significant growth in geothermal development and with it, more uses for other direct uses of this renewable energy like the pilot project in Menengai that has seen geothermal power adapted for “laundry services, milk pasteurization as well as fish and tomato farming.”

 

Local news sources says that the long lead period between completion of drilling and putting up power plants have encouraged GDC to opt for direct use of geothermal.

This has been under pilot over the last three years with the geothermal steam used for among others laundry and milk processing.

It is also used in heating greenhouses and fish ponds where experts say its use helps crops like these tomatoes and fish take 30 percent less time to mature when compared to the conventional farming method.

State officials are optimistic that adoption of direct use of geothermal would drive industrialization by encouraging agro-processing to the benefit of especially residents of geothermal rich areas.

GDC has advanced plans to set up an industrial park in either Menengai or Nakuru town to promote direct use of geothermal steam.

This would be replicated in other areas such as Baringo that GDC plans to start drilling next year.

Source: Smart Kenya