Malawi’s President inaugurates Golomoti Solar, a pioneering solar-plus-battery plant
07 Jun 2022

His Excellency Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi, has presided over an official inauguration ceremony to mark the addition of 20MWac of additional clean energy to Malawi’s national grid. Following the inauguration of its 60MWac sister plant – Salima Solar – late last year, the Golomoti Solar plant in Dedza reached commercial operations in March 2022. Developed by JCM Power and PIDG company InfraCo Africa, Golomoti incorporates highly efficient bifacial solar panels and a utility-scale 5MW/10MWh battery energy storage system (BESS), the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa and Malawi.

Speaking to an audience of invited guests and members of the local community, His Excellency said: “It has only been six and a half months since I inaugurated the first 60MW solar power plant by JCM. In fact, it was mentioned on that occasion that a second plant was being developed here at Golomoti, aimed at supplying an additional 20MW using the kind of battery energy storage system that promises to give us an energy mix away from fossil fuel-powered generators that contribute to climate change.

Malawians deserve an energy programme that aligns with our nationally determined goal of reducing greenhouse emissions by 51 percent by 2040. For this reason, I must commend the innovation and speed exemplified by JCM in the implementation of these projects, taking us 80MW closer to our goal of having 1000MW supplied to the grid. Additionally, JCM deserves recognition for the jobs created during the construction phase of this project, which proves that our policy of creating a conducive environment for private sector investment as a catalyst for job and wealth creation is the right one.”

His Excellency concluded his address stating: “With these few remarks, I once again congratulate JCM and partners for reaching today’s milestone, allowing me to now have the distinguished honour of declaring this solar plant at Golomoti officially launched.”

Golomoti Solar’s state-of-the-art lithium-ion BESS will help support existing hydro generation plants and reduce Malawi’s reliance on diesel generation by enabling the solar plant to provide reliable power during the day. The BESS will ensure that grid stability is maintained, a key consideration when adding new intermittent renewable energy capacity. It will also enable the technical training and development of young engineers in Malawi and neighbouring countries around battery energy storage technologies. It is anticipated that performance data from the BESS will inform similar systems elsewhere in the region. The Golomoti BESS was made possible by support from Business Energy and Industrial Strategies International Climate Finance through Innovate UK’s Energy Catalyst and RINA.

Attending the event, InfraCo Africa’s Chief Operating Officer, Elizabeth Hipwell said, “We are delighted to be here with His Excellency today as he inaugurates the Golomoti Solar plant. As with its sister plant, Salima Solar, Golomoti is testament to the commitment of his government, Ministries and ESCOM to delivering new clean energy for Malawi’s consumers. Golomoti’s delivery during a global pandemic demonstrates the determination of our own team and that of our colleagues at JCM Power to keep workers safe from the virus itself, and to overcome supply chain challenges and delays.” She concluded, “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Innovate UK for their support for the battery energy storage system, a key element of the plant’s design and one which will ensure that reliable power is available for Malawi’s homes and businesses for many years to come.” 

JCM Power’s Co-Founder and Chief Development Officer, Justin Woodward, said, “We are thrilled to be holding the inauguration of the Golomoti project, just six months after inaugurating Golomoti’s sister facility in Salima. It is a testament of the team and of the government of Malawi to its commitment to the implementation of renewable energy to deliver two ground-breaking power plants within such a short period of time of each other. The Golomoti project is a pioneering project
and is a showcase for the county and the region.”

Together, the Golomoti and Salima Solar projects have added 80MWac of renewable energy capacity to support Malawi’s clean energy transition and to underpin the country’s future economic development. Both JCM Power and InfraCo Africa were keen to stress their ongoing commitment to the people of Malawi as Golomoti moves into its operations phase.

Notes to editor
• The Government of Malawi and ESCOM, through the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Malawi Compact and with support from the World Bank, have worked to upgrade Malawi’s grid network and regulatory environment to attract Independent Power Producers to the country.

• The project signed a 20-year PPA with the Malawian national utility, Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi Limited (ESCOM) in September 2018.

• The Golomoti Solar project ties in with Power Africa’s initiatives in the region which aim to connect more people to the national grid. By addressing the shortfall of energy supply, Golomoti Solar will serve to enhance the ability of these initiatives to meet demand from newly connected customers.

• Golomoti was awarded the IJ Global ‘Battery storage project of the year’ award in 2021.

• Golomoti’s sister project, Salima Solar, won AFSIA’s ‘Utility-scale solar project of the year’ award in 2021.

• Further detail about the Golomoti Solar project can be found here:

The Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG): PIDG is an innovative infrastructure project developer and investor which mobilises private investment in sustainable and inclusive infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa and south and south-east Asia. PIDG investments promote socio-economic development within a just transition to net zero emissions, combat poverty and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). PIDG
delivers its ambition in line with its values of opportunity, accountability, safety, integrity and impact. Since 2002,
PIDG has supported 171 infrastructure projects to financial close which provided an estimated 217 million people with access to new or improved infrastructure. PIDG is funded by the governments of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden, Germany and

InfraCo Africa: InfraCo Africa is part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) and seeks to alleviate poverty by mobilising investment into sub-Saharan infrastructure projects. It does this by investing directly into early-stage projects or by funding experienced teams to provide project development leadership. Through its investments arm, InfraCo Africa can also provide equity to close a financing gap and start construction or fund innovative solutions that need support to scale-up, to pilot new products or enter new markets. InfraCo Africa is funded by the governments of the United Kingdom (through FCDO), the Netherlands (through DGIS) and Switzerland (through SECO). To find out more visit:

JCM Power: JCM Power is an independent power producer (IPP) dedicated to accelerating social, economic, and
environmental sustainability in growth markets through the development, construction and operation of renewable energy infrastructure. Our driving vision is to advance the clean energy age. For more information please visit:

Innovate UK: Energy Catalyst is designed to accelerate the innovation needed to end energy poverty. Through financial and business advisory support, and by building strategic partnerships and uncovering new insights, Energy Catalyst supports the development of technologies and business models that can improve lives in Africa and Asia. To find out more visit:

Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a non-departmental public body funded by a grantin-aid from the UK government. We drive productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas, including those from the UK’s world-class research base. To find out more visit:

Government of Malawi: Malawi’s Growth and Development Strategy (2017-2022) recognises energy as a key driver of economic growth and an essential part of its wider vision to build a productive, competitive, and resilient nation. The Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining promotes the sound utilisation and management of natural resources, energy, and environment in Malawi, involving a range of stakeholders. It promotes development, implementation and compliance with policies, programmes and legislation and seeks to ensure participatory development and implementation of planning and monitoring tools and public awareness campaigns. The Ministry also provides efficient and responsive weather and climate services contributing to Malawi’s social development. Transforming the country’s energy economy from one that is dependent upon biomass to one with a high modern energy component is a key strategic objective for the Ministry. To find out more visit:

ESCOM: ESCOM is a limited liability company mandated to procure, transmit, distribute and supply quality, reliable and affordable electricity to its customers; and to extend the benefits of modern electricity services to
all Malawians. To find out more visit:

For more information please contact:

Shane Eglinton, JCM Power

Lorna McNae, InfraCo Africa