Kenya Electric Generating Company (KenGen) has acquired two high-end drones set to be used to inspect its plants at its Olkaria geothermal fields in Naivasha. According to KenGen, these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were bought for KES 28.7 million and will be deployed in the vast Olkaria fields for surveillance.
“They will be deployed in the Olkaria Fields to help in operations and maintenance,” KenGen said speaking to Business Daily. “They are high-end drones which can transmit high-quality images.”
This comes at a time when companies like KenGen and Kenya Power mostly use helicopters to inspect their vital facilities. These drones are certainly one that can be the next step for power companies as they can travel vast distances without having to stop or land.
These vehicles feature thermal and zoom imaging that can be used to detect any defects that would be attended to immediately. Some of the world’s biggest gas and power suppliers have been testing long-distance prototypes that fly at low altitudes over pipelines and power lines.
Any damages or leaks that may contribute to network failures are then looked at thus avoiding losses of billions of shillings a year. This is mostly attributed to the quick communication that the machines have with technicians who can respond promptly. One example is French energy utility RTE whose drones flew 50km inspecting transmission lines and sent back data to technicians to virtually model a section of the grid.
As revealed by KenGen’s chief supply officer Lois Gitau, the two aircraft were supplied by local firm Finton Logistics who won the tender deal.