Independent Power Producer (IPP) Serengeti Energy has announced the commissioning of the Nkhotakhota 1 solar photovoltaic plant, which has a capacity of 21 MWac and is connected to the Malawi electricity grid.
A new solar photovoltaic power plant in Malawi goes into operation. The plant, which was switched on a few days ago, is located in Nkhotakhota in the Central Region. The Nkhotakhota solar park is a project developed by Serengeti Energy, an independent power producer (IPP) based in Nairobi, Kenya, and the Phanes Group based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The first phase of the plant has a capacity of 21 MWac. This capacity will be increased to 38 MWac with the commissioning of the second phase planned “in the coming weeks”. The Nkhotakhota 2 solar power plant “has reached mechanical completion while testing and commissioning is underway. Plans are also underway to reach the commercial operation date (COD),” says Serengety Energy.
Power sold to ESCOM
Once fully operational, the Nkhotakhota solar plant will be capable of generating 7 GWh of electricity per year to feed into Malawi’s national power grid under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the state-owned Electricity Supply Commission of Malawi (ESCOM).
“We would like to thank the Government of Malawi for its support in the overall success of the project. This is a testament to its commitment to increasing the development of renewable energy for the national power grid,” said Patrick Silungwe, Serengety Energy’s Malawi country manager. The total cost of the project is estimated at $40 million.
Its developers are relying on funding from the US Development Finance Corporation (DFC). The Nkhotakhota solar plant is covered by a $64 million guarantee from the Africa Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) under its Regional Liquidity Support Facility (RLSF), a facility that provides short-term liquidity support to IPPs.
Jean Marie Takouleu