KenGen commissions EcoCLOUD Data Centre at Olkaria, to run on geothermal energy




Prime CS Musalia Mudavadi presided over the groundbreaking ceremony for the Olkaria EcoCLOUD Data Centre. The environmental-friendly data centre will rely 100% on renewable geothermal energy and will be located at the KenGen Smart Industrial Park in Naivasha, Nakuru County.

The modern facility will directly benefit from the 953 Megawatts of Geothermal Power Generation capacity at Olkaria and will be the first major investment at the newly created KenGen Smart Industrial Park to fully utilize green, reliable and sustainable power.

The data centre project, dubbed Project Eagle, is inspired by the annual migration of Eagles from Europe to Africa, particularly Kenya and aims to harness the power of data and data traffic between East Africa and the rest of the world in an eco-friendly and economical manner.

Speaking during the groundbreaking event, Musalia Mudavadi noted that the Olkaria EcoCLOUD Data project will integrate clean energy and technology , propelling the government of Kenya’s efforts to build a sustainable future for the country and the region.

“The momentous project intertwines technology and sustainability propelling Kenya into the forefront of digital era and shaping the country into a greener smarter future,” said Mudavadi.

On his part, the CS in the Ministry of ICT and Digital Economy Eliud Owalo noted that the government has embarked on an ambitious program of realizing a vision of turning Kenya into a digital economy and hence the need to build more secure storage centres for data.

“This project is very timely as it goes a long way to supporting government efforts of digitization, we need adequate data centres for secure storage as we make the progress towards a digital future for all government services and enhance digital literacy among our youth.”

Energy CS Davis Chirchir noted that the cleanest energy which is not generated and transported but one that is generated and used at source. “The energy that is generated and used at source will help us to address the challenges of energy conservation and efficiency at a national level,” said Chirchir.
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The 60-Megawatt Hyperscale Data Centre Campus spans three distinct areas, each with its own unique features. Campus 1 alone will accommodate an astounding number of racks – precisely 2640 racks – to support its twenty-four-Megawatt IT Load capacity. Campus 1 boasts 24 Megawatts of IT Load, while Campus 2 mirrors this with an additional 24 Megawatts of IT Load. Campus 3 then completes the masterplan with a final 12 Megawatts of IT Load.

Speaking during the event, the Olkaria EcoCLOUD Data Centre CEO, Eng. Amos Siwoi said: “As we embark on this momentous journey together, this endeavor underscores our commitment to embracing a technologically advanced and sustainable future in a responsible manner. This project is not just about bricks and mortar or data servers; its about the future. The Olkaria EcoCloud Data Centre will be a beacon of sustainability, and a hub for innovation within the African continent”.

The groundbreaking ceremony was graced by other key government officials including Rebecca Miano, the CS for the East African Community, Arid and Semi-Arid Lands and Regional Development; Eng. John Tanui, the PS in the Department of ICT and Digital Economy; Eng. Peter Waweru Njenga, CEO, KenGen; John Paul Okwiri , the acting CEO, Konza Technopolis; Prof. Raphael Munavu, Chairperson, Konza Technopolis; Tabitha Karanja, Senator, Nakuru County; and David Kones, Deputy Governor, Nakuru County.

The project has attracted the interest from key players in the data sector including Google, Amazon Web service, Oracle, VMWare and Jamii Telecoms whose represenatives were also present at the event.

Details from the project reveal that the location of the Data Centre campus was specifically chosen versus an urban environment to maximize reliability and ensure the availability of data centre services to prospective end-user customers while reducing the competition for precious resources with the urban population.

The campus is connected through diverse carrier fiber routes supplied by multiple fiber carriers at multiple points-of-entries that can be extended to ensure maximum path diversity for incoming carriers. Each Data Centre building has up to four separate Meet-Me-Rooms, designed explicitly for hyperscale-ready connectivity.

Additional Sustainability Features in the Data Centre design include Rooftop Solar power generation, minimal water usage, Rainwater harvesting, EV charging points, and shuttle to Nairobi.

The project is designed by internationally recognized advisors and consultants, including X2X Group as the lead consulting advisor, Sudlows Consulting as the MEP consulting firm and Linesight as the cost management team.

Speaking at the launch, Dubai-based Project Eagle team lead, Greg Jasmin, said that the Olkaria EcoCLOUD Data Centre sets new standards for eco-friendly infrastructure throughout Africa.

Code-named Project Eagle and inspired by the annual migration of Eagles from Europe to Africa, particularly Kenya, the data centre aims to harness the power of data and data traffic between East Africa and the rest of the world in an eco-friendly and economical manner. The Olkaria EcoCLOUD Data Centre campus is located near Lake Naivasha, northwest of Nairobi, at the KenGen Smart Industrial Park, Olkaria. It will be the most environmentally-responsible data centre across the African region as it relies on 100% renewable geothermal energy and minimal use of local water resources.

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