In the Light – Commissioning of the Mananakele Solar PV Home Lighting System Project

Members of the Kapari community gathered together at Mananakele to celebrate the commissioning of their Solar Photovoltaics (PV) Home Lighting system successfully installed in 290 homes.

Delegation comprising of IUCN ORO staff, PNG's Acting Deputy Secretary for the Department of Mines and Energy and Senior Staff of TAG Holdings at the commissioning ceremony.

Community leaders, men, women and children were all present in numbers to witness the turning on of the solar lights which is now part of their daily life.The occasion marked for the first time the advent of electric light into 290 homes. For some, particulary the older folks it was an emotional occasion as they reflected on the cold dark nights of the past years yearning for some miracle light to brighten up their homes. The hard work associated with gathering firewood as a source of light and relying on kerosene lamps are now over.

An elder that spoke on behalf of the community intimated his more than seventy years lying in the dark every night and was glad that it was now over.

A delegation comprising of Vore Veve, PNG’s Acting Deputy Secretary for the Department of Mines and Energy, senior staff and officials from Tag Holdings, Taholo Kami, Regional Director of the IUCN Oceania Regional Office, Anare Matakivit, Energy Programme Coordinator and Frank Koloi, Senior Communications Officer travelled to Mananakele in the Kapari District to a rousing welcome by community members and dancing women and girls.

In his address Taholo Kami, Regional Director of IUCN Oceania Regional Office highlighted that the better quality lights from the solar PV systems would bring transformational changes to the community in that brighter lights would provide a better environment for school children to study at home in the night, women and men would have the opportunity to do extra chores at night and other social events could be conveniently organized at night. He further added that IUCN together with the donor countries that provided the funding for the project were happy to have worked with the community to make these changes possible.

The team took time to visit a number of homes to inspect the solar systems and to talk to home owners who expressed their delight and joy for receiving the lighting system. Each house is installed a system comprising of 1 only 50W solar panel, 1 only 35Ah 12 volt battery, 4 only 5w LED lights and one charge and discharge controller and inverter all in one box. The system also has provisions for telephone charging that operates for an average of five hours per day under average daily insolatin of 4kWh/m2 per day.

IUCN will in the future assist and work closely with the PNG DPE in developing a guideline for the proper care and maintenance of the solar systems.

The project totalling $570,000PNG Kina started in 2015 and the installation of solar PV home lighting systems were successfully completed towards the end of 2015 under the supervision of Tag Holdings, a locally based company in Papua New Guinea.

The solar PV lighting system project is an Energy, Ecosystem and Sustainable Livelihoods initiative (EESLI) assisted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and funded by the governments of Italy, Austria, Luxembourg and Spain.

For more information, contact Anare Matakiviti, Energy Program Coordinator at [email protected]

Work area: 
Ecosystems
Energy
Location: 
Oceania
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