Malawi: Escom, Egenco Move in to Improve Electricity System Stability

7 November 2023

Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) Limited and Electricity Generation Company (EGENCO) Malawi Limited will on Wednesday launch Automatic Generation Control (AGC) to improve system stability by introducing generation fast response to power demand changes in real time.

ESCOM Chief Operations Officer (COO), Maxwell Mulimakwenda said all was set for the launch of AGC in Blantyre to ensure balance between generation and load demand, frequency as well as power interchange with other systems.

"AGC is a modern way of operating and controlling generators to improve frequency regulation and system stability," Mulimakwenda said.

Minister of Energy, Ibrahim Matola is expected to grace the launch, which will be spiced up by a parade from Victoria Avenue to Sunbird Mount Soche Hotel.

Currently, ESCOM manages generation control through its National Control Centre with EGENCO performing a similar task through its Generation Control Centre whereas local power plant operators do so via their generation sites using telephones.

However, Mulimakwenda said changes effected in the power sector, especially with the integration of renewable energy, has rendered the current system challenging -- hence AGC's introduction.

"AGC will achieve stable frequency regulation by sending automatic signals to four generators via the SCADA system.

And guess what, this historic event has been achieved through collaborative efforts by ESCOM, EGENCO and Southern Africa Energy Programme (SAEP)."

Mulimakwenda said the launch of AGC was in line with ESCOM's Integrated Strategic Plan for the period 2023 to 2027 launched in Lilongwe last week under the theme: 'Driving value by building positive stakeholder relationships and partnerships.'

"We can't deliver some of our strategic plans alone as ESCOM, we must continue to leverage partnerships on our way to ISP27," he said.

AGC adjusts output of generating units in response to changes in the load demand and system conditions while also allocating load demand among available units in a cost-effective way, the COO said.

This is achieved by adjusting the output of the generating units according to the changes in the load demand and the system conditions.

AGC also coordinates the economic dispatch of the generating units, which means allocating the load demand among the available units in the most cost-effective way.

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