A consortium led by US-based independent power producer Quantel Renewable Energy has begun construction on a 50 MW solar power plant in Malawi.
The Bwengu Solar PV Power Plant will spread over 105 hectares of land in Bwengu, in the Northern Region's Mzimba District, and is expected to be built at a cost of $65 million within 12 months. The facility will be located in Ulalo Nyirenda village, which is just 1 km from the Bwengu Escome Substation power grid.
“This additional power is in line with the government’s ambition to generate 1,000 MW by 2025 as well as sustainable development goal number seven to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all,” Malawi's Ministry of Energy said in a statement. “Furthermore, this power plant is also harmonious with the National Energy Policy’s objectives to diversify the sources of energy for power generation and the locations of the power plants in the country.”
Quantel began developing the project in 2019.
Malawi had an installed solar power of around 24 MW at the end of 2020, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. With a population of approximately 19 million people, the landlocked nation has a power generation capacity of around 363 MW, around 90% of which comes from hydropower. Access to power in Malawi’s rural areas is currently only 4%, with 42% in urban areas. Overall, electricity access is only 11% and the government aims to increase that figure to 30% by 2030.
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