On 16 November 2021, His Excellency Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi, presided over an inauguration ceremony to mark the addition of 60 MW of clean energy to Malawi’s national grid by the Salima Solar plant.
Addressing an audience of local communities, government officials, and development partners, the President of the Republic of Malawi stated:
– One reason I was eager to inaugurate this particular power plant is that it is clean energy, and it is a model for the green future we want. […] We must succeed at charting a path to development that is sustainable, so that future generations will see that we kept our track record of net zero carbon emissions intact.
The Salima Solar plant is the first-ever solar photovoltaic plant to be connected to the grid in Malawi. The solar park is located 75 km east of Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, covering 170 hectares. Its 60-megawatt capacity will increase the electricity supply by more than 12 per cent and help improve the country’s electrification rate.
Built and operated by JCM Power
The Salima Solar plant was developed and built by JCM Power, one of IFU’s investee companies. The solar plant will supply power to Malawi’s state-owned electricity company, ESCOM, based on a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
Malawi has a total installed electricity generating capacity of around 440 megawatts. But, as more than 90 per cent of this capacity comes from hydropower plants, the supply is often constrained by drought and low water levels. Consequently, introducing solar power to the national grid will help in creating more reliable power supply.
– Access to renewable and affordable energy is imperative for developing countries to improve people’s livelihood. The JCM’s Salima project increases electricity production and enhances the security of supply in a country where only just above 10 per cent of the population has access to electricity. JCM Power has reached a significant milestone with starting commercial operation of this project, which is in line with our impact strategy to support the green transition and create just and inclusive societies, said Lars Krogsgaard, CIO at IFU.
Salima Solar recognised as Utility-scale solar project of the year 2021
The Salima Solar plant has been recognised as “Utility-scale solar project of the year” by the Africa Solar Industry Association (AFSIA). The AFSIA Awards are designed to recognise and celebrate companies and individuals that have contributed outstandingly to promoting and advancing the use of solar across Africa in its full diversity. They recognise good practice, professionalism, quality, safety and innovation, with the aim of being a marker of the brightest and best that the African solar industry has to offer.
– We are delighted that Salima Solar has been recognised by AFSIA. It is a truly ground-breaking project – Malawi’s first utility-scale solar IPP – which is now delivering 60MWac of clean power to Malawi’s energy customers, said Justin Woodward, JCM Power’s Co-founder and Chief Development Officer
Invested on behalf of the Danish SDG Investment Fund
IFU’s investment in JCM Power is made on behalf of the Danish SDG Investment Fund, which is backed by the Danish state, large Danish pension funds and private investors.