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Malawi: Golomoti solar PV set for operation this year


03 Mar 2021

InfraCo Africa, part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group, and Canada’s JCM Power announced on 2 March that construction would begin soon on the 20MWac Golomoti solar PV project in Malawi, which includes a 5MW/10MWh lithium-ion battery system. The plant, which is located around 100km south east of the capital Lilongwe, has now reached financial close and is scheduled to begin operating in the second half of 2021. Golomoti’s sister project, the 60MW Salima solar PV plant, is expected online soon.

Both Salima and Golomoti were tendered by national utility the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi Ltd (Escom) alongside two other projects, responsAbility and Phanes Group’s Nkhotakota and Voltalia’s Kanengo. Preferred bidders were selected in June 2017, but development has been challenging.

A 20-year power purchase agreement was signed for Golomoti alongside Salima in September 2018. Salima began construction in June 2019 but Golomoti has taken more time to prepare. The plant will connect to the existing Golomoti substation, only 400 metres from the project site. Innovate UK supported development of the battery system, which is expected to provide data which will support more storage projects in the region.

“During what has been an unprecedented year, this project marks a renewed commitment from all stakeholders that Malawi is an attractive destination for foreign investment”, JCM Power co-founder and Africa head Justin Woodward said. “With the addition of batteries, the project will provide the foundation for Malawi to continue to be a regional leader in the renewable energy sector.”

 

Image: Golomoti solar PV. Source: African Energy Live Data

 

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