For John Sawyer, the principal of Wintua’s Secondary School, which is home to 121 students, one of the main benefits will be that the school will be able to drastically reduce its electricity costs.
“We used to have to spend around US$10,000 per year on fuel for the school,” he said. “We need electricity for students to be able to study and teachers to prepare their classes in the evenings, and also for administrative work to run the school”.
Kevin Petrini, Deputy Resident Representative a.i. for the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji said, “This project not only contributes to global greenhouse gas emission reductions, but also showcases the strength of the partnerships made between Government agencies and communities, and empowers all the different groups in the communities; men, women, youth, children and vulnerable people have all benefitted from it.”
Access to reliable and sustainable electricity supply is a game-changer for remote communities, and the Government of Vanuatu is planning to embark on a comprehensive programme which will electrify most inhabited islands in Vanuatu through renewable energy. Click here for more information on our work in Vanuatu.
Key points of the project:
- This solar Photo Voltaic (PV) micro-grid was launched on 22 September 2020 and has been operational since then. This project has been implemented by the Ministry of Climate Change, with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and funding from the Government of Austria.
- The installed solar PV system is a stand-alone 230/400 VAC 50Hz solar micro-grid combined with 48V batteries operating 24 hours and 7 days a week.
- The solar PV micro-grid system provides clean, affordable and reliable electricity to 2,814 people and seven institution: Wintua Primary School, Wintua Secondary School, the health centre, the police station, the community hall, the market area, and the airport.
- UNDP through its NDC Support Programme provided technical assistance for the development of the Malekula feasibility study.
- A well-structured maintenance plan, based on community capacity building by the local energy service company, will ensure the sustainability of the micro-grid power station.
- This project is aligned to the Government of Vanuatu’s National Energy Road Map for increasing the energy access for rural communities in Vanuatu.