Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) has commissioned a 1.3 megawatts (mw) solar power plant for Likoma and Chizumulu Islands which will replace the company’s 1.8mw diesel generators.
The generators which were installed in Likoma in 2002 through the Malawi Rural Electrification Programme cost Egenco about K17 million monthly.
Speaking yesterday in Likoma after commissioning the power plant, Egenco Chief Executive Officer William Liabunya said solar had become the main source of power for the islands and that the generators will only serve as backup.
“We were only supplying power for 14 hours because of the cost of diesel. So, it was our desire to increase power supply. Again shipping diesel to the island was risky and dangerous.
“There are now high expectations that the livelihood of people of Likoma and Chizumulu islands will greatly improve with 24-hour availability of electricity,” Liabunya said.
Out of the 1.3mw, 1000kw will be for Likoma while 300kw will be for Chizumulu.
The solar plant has a lifespan of 20 years.
Energy Minister, Newton Kambala, said he expects businesses to flourish in the Island district.
“We are also looking at increasing our generation capacity. This is one of the reasons we have opened up for Independent Power Producers to assist in generation of electricity,” he said.
The project which started in 2019 was designed and installed by NR electric company of China.