Power blackout: Blame game continues as Turkana plant dismisses Kenya Power

Power blackout: Blame game continues as Turkana plant dismisses Kenya Power

The Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) plant has released a conflicting statement with regards to Kenya Power’s explanation to the current nationwide power outage.

Kenya Power on Saturday, August 26 evening attributed the power outage – that has plagued the country since Friday, August 26 – to the loss of 270MW generation from LTWP.

“The loss triggered an imbalance in the power system and tripped all other main generation units and stations, leading to a total outage on the grid. While there are situations where a plant could trip, our technical teams are analyzing the data from the protection relays to establish the root cause of the trip which caused a cascade failure of the system. The System Demand at the time was 1855.8 MW and therefore, a loss of approximately 15% of generation was expected to cause a widespread power outage,” Kenya Power said in a statement.

‘We didn’t cause power outage’

But in a rejoinder hours later, LTWP denied causing the power outage.

“LTWP was forced to go offline and stop generation following an overvoltage situation in the national grid system which, to avoid extreme damage, causes the wind power plant to automatically switch off,” the firm said. “At the time LTWP was forced to switch off, it was producing 270MW out of a national total of 1855MW (14.6%). The large drop in generation output, following the grid system instability, resulted in a situation that national power supply was interrupted.”

LTWP says that typically, this interruption would be immediately compensated for by other power generators in the system.

Power blackouts since Friday

However, LTWP has not been brought back into operation since Friday. During this period, there have been further interruptions and outages in the national grid system, which LTWP says “remain beyond its scope”.

The plant maintains that it is because of this that it has not being back online until these have been resolved.

“At present, we are doing whatever we can to support the immediate restoration of power to every consumer in the country,” LTWP concludes.

Heads roll at JKIA

Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen has cracked the whip on Kenya Airports Authority MD Alex Gitari and engineering boss Fred Odawo after East Africa’s busiest hub – JKIA – was plunged into darkness on Friday, August 25.

The critical Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) was plunged into darkness on Friday as a result of the power outage, forcing Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen to apologise.

“I am really sorry for what has happened at JKIA with the blackout. There is no excuse worth reporting and there is no reason why our airport is in darkness.”

Consequently, CS Murkomen sacked Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) Managing Director Alex Gitari and Engineering General Manager Fred Odawo, following the mishap at East Africa’s busiest hub.

Electricity has being restored in most parts of the country so far.