Launch of Sitolo Minigrid
It is for the mandate and objective of the Energy Sector existence that the first ever fully commercialized solar powered mini-grid has been launched at Sitolo village; T.A Mulonyeni, in Mchinji District.
While our national electrification rate remains the lowest even in the SADC region, efforts like the one we are witnessing now will go a long way in complementing other equally successful interventions that the Ministry is undertaking to provide clean energy services particularly to rural masses. Areas like Sitolo being about 14km from the main grid would have to wait longer before enjoying modern energy services if we were to wait for the grid, but thanks to the progressive thinking of the Ministry and the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), the people of Sitolo now can enjoy life spiced up with electricity energized services.
With support from the UNDP/GEF funded projects, the ministry has assessed renewable energy potential areas that are yet to be electrified and will be implementing more schemes of the Sitolo type in not a distant future from now. Through the same project a hydro powered minigrid has been upgraded from 65kW capacity to 220Kw at Bondo in Mulanje. This minigrid has grown in consumer base from 160 households to about 1200 household in just 4 years. It is pleasing to note that feasibility studies are being concluded for Usingini and Kavuzi in Nkhatabay, while Chipopoma in Rumphi is at the stage of construction of power lines.