Malawi utility plans 20MW in solar tenders as hydro generation wanes

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The state-owned Electricity Generation Company of Malawi (EGENCO) has called for expressions of interest for installation of a 10MW solar PV project at Nanjoka in Salima that can later be scaled to 20MW.

Malawi is forecast to have a power demand of 567MW by 2020, according to the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for Malawi published in May 2017. However, EGENCO’s installed generation capacity, including diesel, stands at just 411.6MW so it is facing a shortfall in supply versus demand. The power company has stated that climate change and environmental degradation has reduced the water levels of Lake Malawi, reducing flows in the Shire River, and thus negatively impacting EGENCO’s hydro generation capacity over the four months of the dry seasons.

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For this reason, EGENCO is “urgent” in its exploration for alternative energy sources including this initial 10MW at Nanjoka, which is located near an area of growing power demand and which can cater for afternoon peak demand. The generated electricity will be connected to the national grid at the existing Nanjoka Substation. Enough land has already been secured to add a further 10MW of PV.

Responses to the EOI are due on 7 March.

Construction on a 60MW solar project started in Malawi back in December.

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