Led by Newton Kambala, the Minister of Energy, the government of Malawi has officially launched the construction of the first phase of the proposed Nkhotakota Solar Power Plant.
With a planned capacity of 21 MWp, this project is spearheaded by Phanes Group, an international solar energy developer, investment, and asset manager, headquartered in Dubai, UAE, and its partner responsAbility Renewable Energy Holding (rAREH), on renewable energy in Sub-Saharan Africa.
rAREH was established by the Swiss asset manager, responsAbility Investments AG, which specializes in development-related sectors of emerging economies, in conjunction with the KfW Development Bank.
About the entire project
The Nkhotakota Solar Power Plant is one of Malawi’s first commercial scale-independent solar power projects and it is being developed in two phases of 21 MWac and 16 MWac.
The project is part of the Malawian government’s plan to move the East African country from its reliance on hydropower, which currently represents over 90% of its energy mix. It stems from the country’s first competitive tender in the power sector leading to a 20 year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) signed between its developers and Malawi’s national utility, Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi Limited (ESCOM), in February 2019.
Expectations for the project
Upon completion, the project is expected to add a significant 37 MWac of clean energy to the national capacity, which is currently estimated at 362 MWac. This will be enough to power additional 150,000 Malawian households at the least.
In this project, Phanes Group and rAREH are supported by the US Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the African Trade Insurance Agency (ACA) under the Regional Liquidity Support Facility (RLSF).
This is the second renewable energy project to be backed by the ATI’s RLSF, the first one being the 7.5MW Gigawatt Global’s solar power plant in Burundi.