JCM Power says it expects electricity tariffs to go down once it starts supplying 60 megawatts (MW) into the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) national grid mid next year.
The company will be selling electricity at $0.08 (about K58.72) per kilowatt hour compared to $0.50 (about K367.50) Escom is sourcing from diesel generators by Agrekko Limited and Electricity Generating Company (Egenco).
JCM Power country director Phylip Leferink said in an interview on the sidelines of the launch of the project by President Peter Mutharika in Salima on Monday that solar power remains sustainable and cheap as reflected in the company’s tariff model signed with Escom in the Power Purchase Agreement.
He said: “The benefit of solar power is the tariff itself, you can see that our tariff is just $0.08 cents per kilowatt hour which is cheap relative of power currently supplied in Malawi.
“So we are quite excited about that and it should really help to bring down the cost of power, especially considering that there is about 50 or 60 MW of diesel power installed and we can offset some of that, our kind of power will certainly help a lot in terms of bringing down the tariff.”
Besides, the low cost supply of power from JCM Power, it is envisaged that diesel generators from Agrekko will be taken away from the grid by next year as Escom is passing on the production cost to consumers.
Earlier, Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority Mera chief executive officer Collins Magalasi said electricity tariffs could go down once the generators are be removed from the grid next year.
Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Aggrey Massi is on record as having said that there is likelihood of having electricity tariffs lowered due to the diversified energy sources approach contained in the government policy to deal with current energy challenges.
“If we can have more IPPs [Independent Power Producers] and other sources on the grid then why not, we could have reduced electricity tariffs because pricing is based on supply and demand,” he said.
JCM Power, a Canadian-based company, is constructing a solar energy producing farm which will have 230 000 solar panels on 2 by 1 meter on a 168-hectare field. The, land is being cleared by heavy excavators at the project site in readiness for the commencement of the solar panels which will be imported into the country soon.