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New Solar Home Systems for Bua, Cakaudrove and Macuata.

DOE carried out a survey for the fourth phase of Solar Home Systems (SHS) lighting project in the province of Bua, Cakaudrove and Macuata in 2003. Completion of the surveys made way for procurement of the units through a supplier which successfully bided for the supply tender advertised in July. However, unforeseen delays resulted in the much anticipated installation works to be carried on to 2005.

Driti Solar Refrigeration System

In 2003 a project initiated by the Ministry of Women and Culture with funding assistance from the Canadian Government and technical assistance provided by the University of the South Pacific and SPC was established in Driti Village.

The fishery project consists of 6 fresh water ponds managed by the women of the village. Fish bred in the ponds is harvested 3 times a year and sold to nearby villagers. Unsold fish is eaten by the villagers. To add value to the project DOE installed a Solar Refrigeration System in Driti Village. The Solar Refrigerator System consists of four 100 Watts solar panels and six 200 Amp hour batteries.

SRS

Director of Energy (right) at the commissioning of the Solar Refrigeration System

The DOE also facilitated the establishment of a committee that looks after the operations and maintenance of the system. Also as part of an agreement signed with Driti Village, the DOE will look after the maintenance and operation of the system for a period of five (5) years after which the project is handed over to the village.

Past Projects

Naroi and Vunivau Photovoltaic Project

The maintenance of these two solar home system projects was undertaken. The works for the Naroi Project involved the inspection of 170 households. This exercise was carried out over a week's period and involved changing of burnt lights and overhauling the household solar home system's components where necessary. The inspection of the 58 Vunivau solar homes (Bua, Vanua Levu) involved technical assessment of solar home systems and minor repairs.

Vunivau Solar Home Systems Phase II Project.

Project implementation began in June 2002 with the purchase and supply of materials from Shell Solar. Twelve local technicians who were trained by the DOE were recruited for the installation phase of the project and supervised by DOE staff. A local PV technician was also engaged by PICHTR for the installation of the systems. The installation lasted 30 days, which involved the installation of a total of 84 systems out of the 96 supplied by Shell Solar South Africa through PICHTR. Each system included the supply of power for three household lights, an outside light, night light and power point for powering small electrical appliances such as radios.

Nasuva SHS Project

In July, the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (PICHTR) in Hawaii secured funding from the government of Japan for the implementation of 100 PV systems in. According to the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Department and PICHTR the 100 systems were to be installed by the end of December 2002.

Three sites were selected for the third phase of installation. These included Nasuva Settlement (Bua), Vusasivo village (Cakaudrove) and Onelake Settlement (Cakaudrove). These sites were selected after a ground survey, which included energy analysis per resident of each settlement.

Nasuva Settlement located few kilometers from Vunivau Settlement involved the installation of 56 house holds with Solar home systems. The prepaid system is similar to that of Vunivau Phase 1 and 2 where by the residents purchase prepaid cards worth $14 for 30 days of electricity. All installation works were completed by 16th December.

Vusasivo and Onelake SHS Project

Vusasivo, Onelake and Nasuva SHS installation was carried out simultaneously. 18 local technicians were hired to carry out the installation works at the above sites. 42 houses in Vusasivo and 10 in Onelake were installed by 9 technicians grouped into 3. The project was commissioned on 18th December 2002.

Naroi Photovoltaic Project

Major Maintenance works were undertaken in Naroi (Moala, Lau), which involved the inspection of 170 households, maintenance works involves changing of burnt lights and overhauling the solar components. The trip also involved a ground survey for an extension to the 170 households.

Future Plans for SHSs

Presently, DOE is trying to identify funding for a two-phase project to be implemented over a ten-year period. Approximately 20,000 households could be served with SHSs under the service model outlined above. DOE's approach would be to obtain a grant or low interest loan to implement an initial 2,000 systems under a Pilot Phase and after a few years of successful operation proceed to full implementation of 18,000 systems throughout the country.

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