Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom), has said it targets December 2018 to commission the use of renewable energy as an alternative source of power.
Over 140 megawatts of power will be added to the national power grid through the use of solar and other energy sources to be supplied by Independent Power Producers (IPPs).
According to Escom, this is one of the short term mitigation measures that it is implementing against the prevailing power crisis.
Its sister company, the Energy Generation Company of Malawi (Egenco), is not able to generate power to its maximum capacity due to dwindling water levels in Lake Malawi.
Generation capacity had gone down by about 19.3 percent as at the beginning of September, which is three quarters of the full installed capacity.
Escom Chief Executive Officer, Evelyn Mwapasa, said in an interview that discussions were at an advance stage among stakeholders over the commissioning of the alternative energy sources for use as a medium term remedy to the prevailing energy woes.
“The earliest commissioning date is December 2018. We are still working on that, as you know, energy projects take time to commission but we have made progress to the point that we can say that by the end of next year, these should come to the grid,” she said.
Mwapasa said of the projected 140 megawatts, 70 megawatts will come from solar energy and will boost the country’s power capacity to 431 megawatts, from the current 361 megawatts.
She said this is expected to reduce load shedding periods and frequencies.
The IPPs will be generating power through Solar Photovoltaic Power systems.
A photovoltaic Power system generates power by converting light into electricity using solar panels.
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