10 communities identified
BY JARED KOLI
Guadalcanal province is next to tap into the sun’s eternal energy with the help of Solomon Power.
The state-owned enterprise has identified 10 pilot communities.
Solomon Power will build solar hybrid systems in these communities.
With success stories from two solar hybrid systems in Seghe, Western Province and Taro in Choiseul Province, the state-owned enterprise plans to roll out similar electricity power systems in the country.
A team from Solomon Power was at Marau in east Guadalcanal during the Guadalcanal 37th Anniversary celebration where they informed people about their plans for Guadalcanal province.
Solomon Power Planning Engineer, Palmer Anisi told Island Sun in an interview that these 10 communities have shown interest to have electricity in their communities and have applied to the Solomon Power for this.
The identified communities are Marau, Talibau and Bokasughu in the far east and southeast of Guadalcanal, Kolosulu in the highlands, Navola and Numbu in the Northeast, Mbabanakira in South Guadalcanal and Tanagai, Visale and Lambi in west Guadalcanal.
Mr Anisi said this compliments Solomon Islands Government’s goal to energise 100 percent of the country by 2050.
Solomon Power has conducted a feasibility study where they travelled to these communities and surveyed the economic settings of these areas.
“…after we design a system that will cater for these communities.
“We know that line issues in the country is sensitive, so we encourage communities to apply to us and we go around and do assessment and studies to identify power systems suitable for these communities,” Anisi said.
He said the two solar hybrid systems in Seghe and Taro have been working perfectly since they were installed.
“With this success, we want to roll out these similar systems to rural communities around Solomon Islands.
“Solar hybrid system mainly consists of solar panels, battery to store energy and diesel generator. We prioritise renewable source in the operation of this system,” Anisi said.
He said generator only works to charge battery when there is no sun. However, when the battery is fully charged, the generator is turned off.
“With this establishment of hybrid system, there will be less reliance on diesel and therefore lessen the tariff as well,” Anisi adds.
He said all communities have different settings, some have schools and clinics while others do not have these services.
Solomon Power analyses the data they collected and design a system that matches these communities.
“At the moment we target communities that have 100 or more households; we are also in the process to design systems that can cater for smaller communities.
“The electricity output of the Solar Hybrid system will depend on the communities, whether they have commercial activities, clinics, schools or resort,” he explained when asked.
Anisi said in Marau they have already conducted a survey and now in the process of finalising it.