- Malawi has energized a 60 MW AC solar power plant in Salima district of the country as its 1st utility scale solar project
- It has been executed by JCM Power and InfraCo Africa for $75.7 million investment with FMO pooling in the money
- Project is to supply solar power for 20 years to national utility ESCOM
- JCM Power and InfraCo Africa are already building the country’s 2nd utility scale project at Golomoti
The 1st solar PV plant to connect to the national grid in Malawi, 60 MW AC Salima Solar was recently inaugurated by the country’s President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera on 170-hectare site in Salima district.
The facility had been under construction since December 2018 becoming the maiden solar independent power producer (IPP) project to reach construction stage (see 60 MW Malawi PV Project Enters Construction).
Salima Solar Project was executed by a consortium of Canada’s JCM Power Corporation, South Africa’s Matswani and Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) member InfraCo Africa. Later Dutch development bank FMO pooled in financial resources for the facility alongside JCM and InfraCo Africa.
The $75.7 million solar power project is contracted under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Malawian national utility Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi Limited (ESCOM).
Calling the project as a blueprint for future projects to follow in many ways, Chakwera explained, “One of these things it does is demonstrate that Malawi is an attractive destination for private sector investment in the energy sector. Not only does Malawi have a vast energy market, owing to a demand for electricity that far outweighs the supply, but Malawi also boasts of a peaceful environment and strong regulatory frameworks.”
InfraCo Africa separately announced that the Salima project has won the Utility-scale solar project of the year award by the Africa Solar Industry Association (AFSIA).
The team of InfraCo Africa and JCM Power revealed they are already building the country’s 2nd utility scale solar power plant in Golomoti with support from the UK government’s innovation agency Innovate UKs. On its website, InfraCo Africa specifies Golomoti Solar Project’s capacity as 20 MW AC solar with 5 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS). It is expected to come online at Dedza in early 2022.
An expression of interest for EPC and O&M services for the Golomoti plant was launched by the duo in April 2019 (see 20 MW EPC Tender In Malawi).
There is another international solar investment in Malawi. A 37 MW AC solar project of ResponsAbility and Phanes Group raised liquidity cover from Africa Trade Insurance Agency in November 2020 (see 37 MW AC Malawi Solar Project Backed By ATI).