By Deogratias Mmana:
Serengeti Energy has disclosed that phase one of the Nkhotakota Solar Power Plant project is expected to end by December 22 this year, which will see the company adding 21 megawatts to the national grid.
The second phase of the construction of the plant is expected to start next year and will increase the capacity by 17mw, giving a total of 38mw.
Serengeti Energy Country Director Patrick Silungwe said the company has an ambitious mandate to create positive impact from its activities in markets across sub- Saharan Africa.
He said the company invests in and co-develops small and medium size renewable energy projects up to 50mw in the region.
“This Nkhotakota project is very important for Malawi since the country continues to experience shortfalls in generation capacity against the existing demand.
“An addition of 21mw of capacity to the national grid is expected to ease the pressure by a considerable amount,” said Silungwe, who formerly worked for the Ministry of Energy as deputy director and head of rural electrification programme.
Most of Malawi’s existing installed generation capacity utilises hydro sources, with power plants cascaded along the Shire River in the southern part of the country.
With a combination of both drought and floods experienced in the region, Malawi has seen disruptions to hydropower generation, leading to long hours of power rationing which has disrupted economic activities and social service delivery.
“The introduction of the new solar capacity will help ease the country’s electricity supply situation,” Silungwe said.