The solar-diesel hybrid power project is a combination of the solar power plants (1.3MW) and diesel generators (1.8MW) for Likoma and Chizumulu islands; with 1MW for Likoma and 0.3MW for Chizumulu on the solar component, and 1MW for Likoma and 0.8MW for Chizumulu on the diesel generators component.
For decades, the main source of electricity for the islands has been diesel generators that were commissioned in 2002 by the Malawi Rural Electrification Programme (MAREP). The solar-diesel hybrid system replaced these diesel generators as they had become old, dilapidated and obsolete.
While both solar and diesel are used to supply power to Likoma and Chizumulu islands, solar is the main source of power for the islands while the diesel generators serve as back up power. This guarantees stable power supply to the islands.
Once commissioned, the project increased power supply availability for the islands from the then 14 hours to 24 hours per day. It also reduced fuel costs for EGENCO as solar had become the main source of power instead of the diesel generators.
The project started on 15th August 2019. The diesel generators component was the first to be commissioned on 16th December 2019. While the solar component was commissioned on 16th November 2020 for Likoma and 8th December 2020 for Chizumulu.
The solar-hybrid power plant project was jointly financed by both EGENCO and the Ministry of Energy. It costed MK4 billion.