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HomeNewsKPLC, Lake Turkana Wind Power Trade Accusations Over Blackout

KPLC, Lake Turkana Wind Power Trade Accusations Over Blackout

Power producer Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) and power utility company Kenya Power (KPLC) exchanged online accusations over Friday’s nationwide blackout, which left the nation in the dark for more than 12 hours. 

While KPLC blamed the power supplier for the mess and said it sent engineers into the wind farm to determine what caused the unusual blackout, LTWP claims in a statement that it was not producing power at the time.

LTWP in what it terms as social media reports and eventually looping in KPLC, says its system automatically went off, to avert damages to an already overcharged national grid, absolving itself of the blame.

“Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) wishes to assert that it has not caused the current 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,” reads part of the statement.

Even though it cites grid system overvoltage as the cause of power loss, the statement also notes that at the time of going off, the system was producing 270 Megawatts (MW) into the national grid, according to “preliminary reports and analysis undertaken by the relevant independent industry stakeholders,” the statement reads in part.

Alongside KPLC Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Siror, Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir stated to reporters on Saturday that LTWP was to blame for the power outage.

KPLC in a subsequent statement would later affirm this, arguing that the power outage that swept across the nation, originated from the loss of 270MW generation at the Lake Turkana Wind Power Plant (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,” read the Kenya Power statement.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly’s Energy Committee has summoned CS Chirchir and KPLC’s Siror on Thursday next week, following the Friday through Saturday nationwide power blackout.

The two are set to offer insights into why the country was in darkness for more than 12 hours, affecting critical services including operations at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), where massive changes have already been made.

“The chairman, Vincent Musyoka, has directed that we summon the CS Energy together with the CEO KPLC on Thursday to explain the cause of the current nationwide blackout which has paralysed the nation, including the International airport,” communication from the committee’s secretariat read in part.

While the nation waits for an explanation, Roads and Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen fired Alex Gitari, the managing director of Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), and Fred Odawo, the general manager of project and engineering services, due to JKIA’s embarrassing power outage.

In the changes made on Saturday, Eng. Samuel Mwochache will succeed Odawo and Henry Ogoye, who has been in charge of KAA’s Corporate Planning, will take Gitari’s place.

The personnel changes, according to CS Murkomen, were caused by KAA frequently encountering mishaps brought on by management issues, which he claims have led to a demoralized workforce.

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