Tuesday this week witnessed a major development in the country’s energy sector as authorities put pens to paper to formalize a power purchasing agreement for the first Grid Connected Solar System in Port Vila.
This project refers to the installation of the 767 kWp of solar power plant; rooftop and grounded-mounted at the Parliament premises and the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD) building at Nambatu Area.
The project is financed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Pacific Partnership Fund at 5million US dollars with an aim to reduce electricity price and promote renewable energy as a key growth enabler.
According to the Department of Energy, the project contributes to the four key energy sector priorities outlined in the National Energy Road Map (NERM) being access, affordability, energy security and climate change, and their relevant targets.
The Acting Director General of Climate Change, who is also the Director of Energy,Jesse Benjamin said the objective of the project is to promote and provide renewable energy as a means to reduce dependency on fossil fuel, reduce CO2 emissions and improve access to electricity.
Some of the project impacts outlined by the department includes generating approximately 1296.5 MWh of clean energy annually;
Approximately 324, 537 liters of diesel fuel saved every year; around 896 tons of CO2 emissions avoided every year; and a direct spillover benefit amounts to approximately 378, 085 US dollars per year (diesel fuel savings).
UNELCO General Manager, David Iefevre, explained that installing solar plants at these two government premises will reduce the importation of fossil fuels saving around 250, 000 liters of fuels per year.
The occasion noted that the realization of this project is of greater benefits to the residents of Port Vila.
The contractors- Clay Engineering (Fiji) in partnership with the Pacific Communications System (PCS-Vanuatu), IT, Power and Going Off-Grid (Australia) are acknowledged for hard-work and successful installation.