The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat has reported “impressive progress” of grid connected solar power generation systems in the Federated States of Micronesia funded through the Pacific Environment Community (PEC) Fund.
During October the solar system was commissioned in Chuuk and final testing of the installed solar system in Pohnpei was underway. These are the biggest solar installations to date in the Federated States of Micronesia. In the project 800kWp of solar systems are being implemented in the four states that comprise the Federated States of Micronesia.
Chuuk PV system
The 200kWp solar system installed at the Chuuk High School is now up and running and producing electricity that is being fed into the grid.
“The installation of the solar system in Chuuk has gone smoothly,” commented Mark Waite, CEO of the Chuuk Public Utility Corporation. “The Corporation looks forward to benefitting from the solar system which we anticipate will lead to a reduction in our annual fuel costs of up to US$104,000. We are keen to increase the share of grid tie solar power generation systems on Chuuk to further reduce carbon emissions and reliance on fossil fuels.”
The 200kWp solar system in Pohnpei is at the Nett Elementary School in Pohnpei
The other two installations will be in Kosrae and Yap, and these are expected to be completed over the next few months.
Together the projects are expected to lead to savings of almost US$500,000 in annual diesel costs and to reduce carbon emissions by 500 tonnes. They will also contribute almost 2% towards the target of 30% renewable energy generation by 2020.
Support for Pacific islands
The PEC Fund is a commitment by the Government of Japan of ¥6.8 billion (US$66 million) to support Pacific Islands Forum country projects with a focus on the provision of solar power generation systems and sea water desalination plants, or a combination of both technologies. Each Forum Island country is provided with an indicative allocation of US$4 million.
To date, 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. The Fund is one of a number supporting clean energy development in the region [Engerati-Spotlight On South Pacific – On The Way To A Clean Energy Future]