30 megawatts project sets to compliment the national grid
In a clear response to President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera’s vision of seeing the country being power reliant, Blantyre Water Board (BWB) has embarked on a project to develop a 30 megawatts solar plant to help pumping water from its Walkers Ferry treatment works.
Experts have hailed the project as timely and that it compliments President Dr Chakwera’s dream of the country producing at least 1000 megawatts of power by 2025.
On Friday, BWB signed a contract with an Indian firm, TATA Consulting Engineers to prepare a detailed project report, feasibility study, design and project management consultancy services for development of the project in Nkula, Neno.
The Board’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Robert Hanjahanja said the project will help to move away from the national power grid and use renewable energy to pump water.
“We hope the solar plant will be functioning in the next 18 to 24 months,” said Hanjahanja.
The project is being funded by the Indian government to the tune of 72 million US dollars.
Chakwera on Sunday launched a 20 megawatts Solar and Battery Charge
Project being run by JCM in Golomoti, Dedza with optimism that the solar energy plant fits perfectly with the country goal to add 1000 megawatts to the national grid by 2025.
Electrical engineering experts have said that the BWB could also be used as an addition to the national grid observing that 30 megawatts could be more than enough for daily water pumping.
Dr Hanjahanja could not immediately comment whether the Board has such plans to sell excess power.
During the Golomoti event President Chakwera said: “Together with other existing sources of power, this solar power project fits perfectly with our goal to add 1000 megawatts to the national grid by 2025.”
The Golomoti project is the largest renewable and sustainable energy source in sub Saharan Africa with 52,300 panels and a capacity of 50 gigawatts of clean energy for the next 30 years.
“We will continue making Malawi an attractive destination for private sector investment in the energy sector by creating a conducive environment for independent power producers (IPPs),” said Chakwera in his speech.