Geothermal-Powered Data Centre Launched in Olkaria

  • Olkaria EcoCLOUD Data Centre serves as new ground for climate friendly infrastructure
  • The facility is the first of a kind in Africa, powered 100% by geothermal energy
  • Facility sits in the expansive 845 acres of Smart Industrial Park at KenGen’s Olkaria Geothermal field
  • Phase 1 of the project to be completed in 14months and will deliver a 24MW capacity data centre, targeting users from hyperscale global technology companies
  • Investors commit US$625m investment in the full project with phase 1 to be completed at US$250m
  • Data Centre sets new standards for eco-friendly infrastructure throughout Africa.

Prime Cabinet Secretary Hon. Musalia Mudavadi presided over the groundbreaking ceremony for the Olkaria EcoCLOUD Data Centre.  The first of its kind environmental friendly data centre will rely 100% on renewable Geothermal energy and will be located at the KenGen Smart Industrial Park in Naivasha,

The state-of-the-art 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, Prime Cabinet Secretary, Hon. 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”.

On his part, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of ICT and Digital Economy Hon. 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.”

Cabinet Secretary for Energy Hon. 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”

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 Twenty-Four Megawatts of IT Load.
  • Campus 2 mirrors this with an additional twenty-four Megawatts of IT Load.
  • Finally, Campus 3 completes the masterplan with a final Twelve 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; it’s 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 key government officials including Hon. Rebecca Miano, CS for the East African Community, Arid and Semi-Arid Lands and Regional Development, Hon. Eliud Owalo, CS Ministry of Information, Communication and the Digital Economy, Hon. David Chirchir, CS for Energy and Petroleum, Eng. John Tanui, PS State Department of ICT and Digital Economy, Eng. Peter Waweru Njenga,  CEO, KenGen, John Paul Okwiri , Ag.Chief Executive Officer, Konza Technopolis, Prof. Raphael Munavu, Chairperson, Konza Technopolis, Hon. Tabitha Karanja, Senator, Nakuru and Hon. David Kones, Deputy Governor, Nakuru  among others

The project has attracted the interest from key players in the data sector including Google, Amazon Web service, Oracle, VMWare and Jamii Telecommunications who 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.

AdditionalSustainability Features in the Data Centre design includeRooftop 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.