Solomon Islands commissions Solar Home Systems Project

2013-03-05T11:00:00Z

<p style="text-align: justify;">Residents of Kiu village on the island of Malaita in the Solomon Islands celebrated the installation of 180 solar home systems during the official commissioning of the ‘Rural Electrification Via Solar Homes Systems in the Solomon Islands Project’ last week.<!--more--></p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The Kiu community, which hitherto used kerosene, diesel and coconut shells as sources of lighting for their homes, are the first recipients of the US$3.99 million funds, which involves the installation of 2,000 solar home systems that will provide significant benefits to rural areas and outer islands in the eight provinces around Solomon Islands. These will enable residents to use electricity for lighting and basic electrical appliances.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The project, developed and implemented by the Government of Solomon Islands, is funded through the Pacific Environment Community (PEC) Fund, contributed by the Government of Japan and administered by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS).</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">While speaking at the commissioning event, the PEC Fund Project Manager, Mr Jonathan Mitchell commended the efforts of the Government of Solomon Islands and the implementers of the project on the significant progress made to deliver the solar home systems to the outer islands.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">“With the installation of the first set of solar home systems in the community of Kiu now completed, we hope that the households who have received the solar home systems will take full advantage of the benefits that the systems will provide and we look forward to the installation of the remaining systems around Solomon Islands,” Mr Mitchell said.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Deputy Director for the Solomon Islands Energy Department, Mr Gabriel Aimaea said, “Solomon Islands currently has one of the lowest levels of access to electricity in the region, with over 85% of the population of Solomon Islands still without access to electricity and for this project alone, we received over 6,000 applications to obtain only 2,000 solar home systems.”</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The PEC Fund is a commitment by the Government of Japan of ¥6.8 billion (approx. US$66 million) to support Forum Island Country projects with a focus on the provision of solar power generation systems and sea water desalination plants, or a combination of both technologies.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat was tasked to manage the fund in close collaboration with the Government of Japan. Each Forum Island Country is provided with an indicative allocation of USD$4 million.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Governments of Samoa, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Niue, Republic of Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands and Vanuatu have successfully accessed the PEC Fund for national renewable energy and seawater desalination projects.</p>
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