NGEF Board Approves Vt190 Million for Solar Projects

By Adorina Massing

A 2,249-watt solar panel system was installed at Itiki Primary School, Tanna to provide affordable and efficient as part of NGEF’s first pilot projects last year. Photo: File

The Vanuatu National Green Energy Fund (NGEF) has confirmed the allocation of Vt190,105,260 to improve energy access for households and businesses in rural and peri-urban areas.

NGEF Fund Manager Georgewin Garae said the approved budget is to facilitate capital investment opportunities through the implementation of renewable energy and energy efficiency at a subsidized cost.

“This year, we will be focusing on the provinces of SANMA and TORBA,” he said

“However, we are open to receive any interested individual’s request for a subsidized price in purchasing a renewable solar kit.”

Mr Garae has listed a few projects under the NGEF which will be rolled out in the following months of 2021.

“Our first project is to provide accessible renewable solar energy to Primary Schools and Secondary Schools located in disperse off-grid areas in both SANMA and TORBA provinces.

“Secondly, we are looking to provide solar energy kits that are more efficient to 10 Resorts that are registered as a Tourism Service Provider, with aims to support our local Tourism Sector.

“Thirdly, we will be working with the National Bank of Vanuatu (NBV) and provide funding so they can support clients in off-grid areas to purchase a solar system.

“Fourthly, NGEF will work with the two Telecommunication Operators: Digicel and Vodafone to upgrade their telecom towers by switching from diesel generators to solar powered panels that is environmental-friendly.

“Fifth, we will also work with VANWODS to support mothers living in rural areas with no access to electricity and provide them solar equipment that will improve their livelihoods.

“Sixth, we will extend our support by providing solar panels to all Cooperatives within the two provinces, to support our local communities.

“Seventh, our team will work closely with the Department of Water to replace water pump generators with solar systems in off-grid areas that will save time and cost.

“Lastly, NGEF will work with the Vila Central Hospital to improve the hospital’s electric system with solar-powered panels and replace old freezers, coolers and lighting designs that are more consistent.”

Mr Garae said at the moment, the team is working on an ‘Energy Efficiency Improvement’ project that is focused on improving lighting systems and provide efficient solar-energy panels and low-powered appliances to support Government institutions in reducing the high-cost of electrical bills.

The approved budget is provided by the Vanuatu Government.

NGEF is established as a unit within the Department of Energy that focuses on rural electrification through renewables, energy efficiency and other renewable energy applications.