Taro, the headquarters to Choiseul Province will soon lighten up with the Solomon Islands Electricity Authority (SIEA) recently approved hybrid solar, battery and diesel back up power.
This is the first of its kind introduced in the country and will also be installed in Afio in Malaita and Seghe in Western Province.
SIEA Chief Executive Officer Pradip Verma confirmed the SIEA board approved this hybrid system that will be installed on these first three sites.
He explained that for Taro in Choiseul, SIEA will be procuring the existing electricity infrastructure and the land from the Provincial Government to develop the generation assets as a hybrid station.
This will be first and SIEA has indicated more of this system be expected to be rolled out in the years to come.
“We consider these to be precursors for more hybrid generation mini grids in Solomon Islands,” said SIEA’s Chief Executive Officer, Verma.
Premier Choiseul Province, Jackson Kiloe said his province is grateful to be first to SIEA’s new hybrid system and is blessing after so many years.
“We made several attempts with no positive outcomes since we became a province for more than 20 years now.”
He said, with SIEA being the only legally registered company to provide electricity is tough and of course they do have their own challenges making it not possible for them not expand their services to us.
“We took ourselves to provide electricity in Taro with SIEA technical inputs commencing only in 2011.
“We have been running this service but cannot legally charge fees to our users and now SIEA is going to take over all our existing networks and take everything on from here.
“This is indeed good news to our provincial government. Having electricity supply 24/7 will assist in developments here.”
By BRADFORD THEONOMI