The Pacific island nation of Kiribati will access US$4 million to supplement its electricity supply through solar power generation.
Kiribati has successfully applied to the Pacific Environment Community (PEC) Fund which is administered by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat on behalf of the Government of Japan.
The PEC Fund is a commitment by the Government of Japan of ¥6.8 billion (approx US$66 million) to support Forum Island Country (FIC) projects with a focus on the provision of solar power generation systems and sea water desalination plants, or a combination of both technologies.
The “Kiribati Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Grid Connected Project” will involve the installation of a 400kWp solar PV system that is connected directly to the South Tarawa electricity grid, which will be the first of its kind for Kiribati. The power generated from the solar PV system will contribute to the supply of approximately 3.7% of the total electricity production of Kiribati’s Public Utilities Board (PUB).
The project will be implemented by Kiribati’s Energy Planning Unit in the Ministry of Public Works and Utilities.
PEC Fund projects are developed and implemented by Forum Island Countries themselves.
“I would like to congratulate Kiribati on successfully accessing their individual PEC Fund allocation of US$4 million,” said Acting Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Ms Andie Fong Toy.
“I am very pleased to note that electricity produced by the solar PV system is expected to save approximately A$280,859 per annum in fuel costs to operate the diesel generators, and reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions by approximately 362,514 kg equivalent of CO2 emissions per annum.”
Ms Fong Toy added that the Pacific must continue to pursue these initiatives in a sustainable and practical manner to genuinely improve the lives of Pacific peoples.
To date, the Governments of Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu have accessed the PEC Fund and are implementing projects in-country. Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia are currently finalizing financing agreements on their approved PEC Fund projects with the Forum Secretariat before implementation commences.
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