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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

Solomon Islands Government launches first commercial solar farm

Solomon Islands Government’s bid to reduce reliance on imported fossil fuel and reduce electricity costs was boosted Tuesday with the launch of the first commercial solar farm that is expected to save the country millions of dollars on imported diesel fuel costs annually.

Jointly funded by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the New Zealand Government, the Honiara Solar Farm 1 Megawatt project at Henderson is expected to save Solomon Power in excess of SBD$2 million (US$256,000) in diesel fuel costs, reduce electricity tariff and reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

This means that 4% of the total generation capacity in Honiara will now be taken on by the solar farm, effectively saving Solomon Power more than 2,000 (44 gallon) drums, or over 400,000 liters of diesel fuel annually in fuel costs.

Minister of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification David Day Pacha said the project is a fulfillment of the Democratic Coalition for Change Government’s (GCCG) policy to realise the development of potential renewable energy sources to reduce electricity costs and increase electricity access in the country.

“This great achievement we are witnessing today emanated from partnerships established with our development partners and from which I on behalf of the Government and people of Solomon Islands, oblige to thank the Government of the United Arab Emirates and the Government of New Zealand for their generosity in jointly funding this 1 Mega-Watt Solar power plant.”

“This is indeed a notable achievement that I believe will assist Solomon Islands to minimize our total reliance on imported fuel for our electricity generation needs.”

Pacha also took the time to thank the project management team from Masdah Management, who undertook to deliver the project in a very limited time, and offer his gratitude to the contractor CBS Power Solutions (Fiji) Ltd for their fine workmanship in getting the construction completed.

Pacha further stressed that the launch of the solar farm would contribute to the Government’s bid to meet its international commitments on its long-term climate change adaptation commitments.

“I wish to add furthermore that today’s event is a step forward for Solomon Islands to meet our Intended Nationally Determined Contribution under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Solomon Islands have set the target to reduce GHG emissions by more than 50% by year 2050.”

“In this regard, this project complements well with the ambitions of the Government to meet our obligations under the Convention”, he said.

“This solar plant will contribute 4% of solar energy into the generation capacity of Honiara city and is the beginning of more renewable energy projects planned by the Government in collaboration with Solomon Power and development partners.”

Pacha said the Democratic Coalition for Change Government recognizes the importance of energy as a key driver to trigger economic and social development in the country and is fully aware of the current constraints that the energy sector faces due to our high reliance on imported fuel”, he said.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, the assistance provided by both Governments of the United Arab Emirates and New Zealand does meet the policy of the Democratic Coalition for Change Government to pursue development of clean energy programmes including development of photovoltaic park projects such as the one we have gathered to witness its completion.”

Pacha congratulated Solomon Power on this new development urging the state-owned enterprise management team to move the country forward in the country’s ambition to reduce our emissions.

Solomon Power Chief Executive Officer Pradip Verma remarked during the inauguration ceremony that Solomon Power will continue on this path in its mission to energise the nation with reliable and affordable electricity to ensure that developments will take place to improve our national power capacity, adding similar projects are on-going at Afio, Seghe and Taro in the provinces.

New Zealand High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Marion Crawshaw commended the Solomon Islands Government for this initiative and the vision to reduce the use of fossil fuel, adding the New Zealand Government is grateful to contribute towards greener economies of the Pacific Islands in their efforts to achieve their commitments to international climate change adaptation agreements.

SOURCE: SIG

Posted by Staff Reporter : PNG Today on 8:11 PM. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Share this Article

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