MALAWI – Sub -Sahara infrastructure fund InfraCo Africa, part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), and its project partner, JCM Power (JCM), have announced their commitment to finance construction of the 20MWAC Golomoti Solar project with a 5MW/10MWh lithium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS) in Malawi.
Golomoti Solar will be the first commercial-scale solar photovoltaic plant in Malawi to include a BESS, and along with its sister project, Salima Solar, Golomoti is among the first commercial-scale solar photovoltaic plants in the country.
“As part of our commitment to Malawi’s renewable energy sector, we are pleased to be working with our partners at JCM to deliver a further 20MWAC of clean power to the grid. This key milestone has been made possible by the strong support the project has received from the Government of Malawi, regulators, and the state utility, ESCOM,” Chief executive officer of InfraCo, Gilles Vaes, said.
“By generating additional power and pioneering energy storage, Golomoti Solar will ensure that homes and businesses in Malawi will have access to more reliable electricity to drive economic growth,” he added.
“By generating additional power and pioneering energy storage, Golomoti Solar will ensure that homes and businesses in Malawi will have access to more reliable electricity to drive economic growth”Gilles Vaes – CEO, InfraCo
Located in Dedza, approximately 100km south east of Lilongwe, the Golomoti Solar plant will facilitate delivery of the much-needed clean power to Malawi’s national grid.
With support from Business Energy and Industrial Strategies International Climate Finance through innovate UK’s Energy Catalyst and RINA, the project will incorporate a 5MW/10MWh lithium-ion BESS which will enable the plant to provide reliable power and improve network stability, reducing reliance on hydro and diesel generation, whilst ensuring that grid stability is maintained.
It is anticipated that performance data from the BESS will inform similar systems elsewhere in the region.
Justin Woodward, co-founder and head of JCM Power Africa, said: “During what has been an unprecedented year, this project marks a renewed commitment from all stakeholders that Malawi is an attractive destination for foreign investment. With the addition of batteries, the project will provide the foundation for Malawi to continue to be a regional leader in the renewable energy industry.”
Golomoti Solar has benefited from knowledge-sharing with its sister project, Salima Solar, with both projects key to transforming regulatory frameworks around Malawi’s renewable energy sector.
Salima Solar is expected to begin delivering power to Malawi’s national grid in early 2021, with Golomoti becoming operational in the latter half of 2021.
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