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SgurrEnergy has completed the installation of two SgurrMetMasts, its wind monitoring meteorological mast product, in Malawi for the Wind Energy Preparation Programme (WEPP), part of the larger Malawi Renewable Energy Acceleration Programme (MREAP).
The installation kicks off the second phase of the project, which aims to accelerate the adoption of wind energy technologies on a domestic and commercial scale in Malawi, with a particular focus on the alleviation of poverty. The programme, funded by the Scottish Government's International Development Fund and led by the University of Strathclyde, represents a strengthening of ties between Malawi and Scotland.
Leading the WEPP project, SgurrEnergy's experienced meteorological (met) mast team installed and commissioned two 70m masts, including all instrumentation, data logging, communication and power systems, using local plant and haulage companies in Malawi. A satellite communication system feeds the data back to SgurrEnergy's team in Glasgow, Scotland, where detailed analysis will reveal the wind conditions on site over the next 12 months.
The overall project scope is extensive and includes wind resource mapping, site selection, met mast supply and installation, as well as data download and analysis. Further stages of the WEPP project include detailed feasibility study work, capacity building and bank-grade energy yield assessments.
The wind masts are part of the larger MREAP programme funded by the Scottish Government which supports several strands of renewable energy development in Malawi.
Peter Dauenhauer, MREAP programme manager at the University of Strathclyde, said: "Today, only 9% of the population in Malawi has access to power, and even those experience frequent load shedding. The milestone reached today represents the first steps towards advancing a clean and promising source of power to the country that will help provide a solution to Malawi's capacity challenge."
"SgurrEnergy's expertise has been invaluable to empowering the Government of Malawi's priority to advance large scale wind energy in the country."
Iain Gillespie, project manager at SgurrEnergy, said: "Having just installed the first ever met masts in Malawi SgurrEnergy is proud to be playing a key part in bringing commercial wind energy to the people of Malawi.
As a company we are now looking forward to assisting in the growth of the renewables sector in Malawi, and in Africa as a whole through our office in South Africa."
Director of measurement at SgurrEnergy, Robbie Gibson, said: "This wind monitoring project will truly change the way that people in Malawi live, and SgurrEnergy is proud to be a part of it.
The successful installation of the SgurrMetMasts marks an important project milestone for WEPP and we will look forward to continuing the development of wind energy in Malawi and beyond."
SgurrEnergy, part of Wood Group, has been working on the WEPP programme since early 2012.
News date: 10/07/2014