Malawian NGO, Community Energy Malawi (CEM), with $250,000 in funding from the UNDP, will install a 45-kW solar PV mini grid to supply electricity to at least 100 customers for domestic houses, one under-5 clinic, a school, a church and six street lights in remote villages of Mchinji District.
CEM is launching the project in conjunction with Scottish NGO Community Energy Scotland.
The project, dubbed Sitolo Mini Grid Project, will also utilize the power to be generated for other business activities such as maize milling, metal fabrication services, water pumping for domestic use and for irrigation, milk cooling and other enterprises such as barbershops, phone charging, entertainment and refrigeration.
According to CEM Country Director Edgar Kapiza Bayani, this is part of the decentralized energy initiatives in line with Sustainable Energy For All and the government of Malawi’s goals of increasing access to clean energy in Malawi.
“Our target is to provide electricity to all 250 households in Sitolo Village as well extend supply to three neighboring villages of Molosiyo, Ndawambe and Faifi in TA Mlonyweni’s area, Mchinji,” Bayani said.
“Therefore, we have two more stages in the pipeline in which we are talking with some funders for a possible funding to scale this project next year. Our discussions with IEEE/Smart Village Program are at an advanced level and we hope to get the extra funding soon to scale up the system.
“Our goal is to provide electricity to meet energy needs both for household and entrepreneurship. To that effect we are promoting productive use of energy activities which include trainings using a Toolkit on how people can utilize energy productively to enhance their economic potential.”