Solar power producer JCM Power has disclosed plans to generate an additional 10 megawatts (MW) at its Golomoti solar plant in Dedza where 20MW of its power has just been added to the national grid.
The company’s public relations manager Jonas Sani disclosed this on Wednesday during a tour of the facility by Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola.
The Golomoti power plant is the company’s second renewable energy project after the 60MW Salima Solar project which was commissioned in October 2021.
Said Sani: “We still see ourselves investing and developing further in Malawi. We have plans for expansion for this facility. We would like to add another 10MW of solar PV power.”
According to Sani, the 20MW Golomoti Solar PV and Battery Energy Storage project started its commercial operations on March 1, 2022.
He said currently the battery storage is dispatching 3MW for testing which is being used for two hours during peak hours between 6pm and 8pm.
In his remarks, Matola hailed JCM for implementing the project successfully, adding that other Independent Power Producers (IPPs) need to emulate the good standards.
The minister also encouraged IPPs to incorporate battery storage in their technologies so that more power is produced to meet the country’s growing demand.
Said Matola: “As a country, we made a decision to bring in the IPPs to complement the energy sources that we have in the country and government’s plan is that by 2025, the country should have added 1 000MW to the national grid. JCM has demonstrated that this is possible.”
On her part, Power Market Limited (PML) chief executive officer Rosemary Mkandawire said the absence of diesel-generated power of about 70MW by Aggreko, whose contract was terminated, will not be felt, saying the power being generated by JCM is more than sufficient to cover what Aggreko was offering.
According to Mkandawire if Kapichira power station, which was producing 129MW, was not off the grid following the damage by Tropical Cyclone Ana, the blackouts could have been a thing of the past by now.
Apart from the JCM projects, other companies involved in the solar projects and their capacities currently at various levels of implementation include Nkhotakota Phanes Solar 21MW, Kanengo Voltalia Solar 17.5MW and Kanengo Atlas Solar 20MW while Mulanje Hydro is providing eight MW power to the national grid.