Malawi gets new solar power plant to fill critical energy gap
The planned Nkhotakota Solar Power Plant in Malawi is expected to set a regional standard and considerably reduce the country’s energy deficit. The $67million solar plant will be supported by the African Trade Insurance Agency’s (ATI) Regional Liquidity Support Facility (RLSF), designed to cover the late-payment risks of publicly-owned power utilities.
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns highlighted the urgent need to ramp up energy access and diversify the existing energy mix in many African countries. In sub-Saharan Africa, electricity access stands at just 43%, or roughly half the global access rate. Though challenges do remain, the pandemic also revealed the importance of increasing more affordable renewable energy sources into the energy mix.
The power plant is one of Malawi’s first commercial scale independent solar power projects. It is expected to add 37MWac of clean energy to the national capacity, which is currently estimated at 362MWac. The solar plant will be developed in two phases of 21MWac and 16MWac. It is the second renewable energy project to be backed by the ATI’s Regional Liquidity Support Facility.
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