Malawi switches on 60-MW maiden solar plant

Salima Solar plant inauguration. Image by InfraCo Africa (

November 18 (Renewables Now) - Malawi’s first utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, the 60-MW Salima Solar project, has been officially inaugurated by Malawi president Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, InfraCo Africa said on Wednesday.

Salima Solar, construction of which was launched in December 2018, will operate under a 20-year power purchase agreement with Malawi’s national utility, Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi Ltd (ESCOM). It was originally developed by JCM Power Corp, Matswani and InfraCo Africa, part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG). The Dutch development bank, FMO, subsequently joined JCM Power and InfraCo Africa in investing in its construction.

According to the announcement, the solar park supports Malawi’s aim to minimise its carbon emissions while aiding economic growth through reliable access to energy. Chakwera said Salima Solar is a blueprint for future projects in the country, where electricity demand “far outweighs” supply.

InfraCo Africa and JCM Power are also building Malawi’s second utility-scale solar plant, the Golomoti Solar project in Dedza District, which combines 20 MW of solar capacity with a 5MW/10MWh lithium-ion battery energy storage system and is expected to be completed by early 2022.

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Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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