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A new solar PV plant has entered the construction phase in Malawi. The site for the solar project is selected near the Bwengu town in the Mzimba district. A consortium led by US-based renewable power producer Quantel Renewable Energy has begun construction for this 50 MWp solar power plant.
The solar PV facility will be located in Ulalo Nyirenda village, situated just 1 km from the Bwengu Escome Substation power grid and the plant will spread over 105 hectares of land. The required investment for this project is estimated at $65 million.
Quantel Renewable Energy, along with its project partners – the Danish Frontier Energy and the Sri Lankan Vidullanka Plc, expects the construction to get complete within 12 months. The consortium appealed to the Malawian government to resolve all the outstanding issues that will affect the finalizing of the construction work within the intended period.
The Malawian Ministry of Energy said the launch of the solar power plant is in line with the government’s energy policy of developing more renewable power sources. This project supports Sustainable Development Goal 7 to ensure access to sustainable, reliable, affordable, and modern energy for all. The government hopes to increase the country’s installed capacity by 1000 MW by the year 2025.
According to the World Bank’s data, Malawi’s electricity access is only 11% in 2019, where it is 42% in urban areas whereas only 4% in rural areas. The government aims to increase the overall electricity access rate to 30% by 2030. Malawi is counting on renewable power producers to further develop its installed capacity and diversify the country’s power mix.
The Malawian government has validated the implementation of several renewable energy projects, including the 20 MWp Golomoti solar farm. In Nkhoma Deka, another 50 MWp solar power plant is under development. Malawi’s first large-scale solar power project, the 60 MWp Salima solar plant entered its commercial operation phase in November last year.