ISLAND DOES AWAY WITH DIESEL FUEL FOLLOWING SOLAR COVERAGE

SEYCHELLES: ENERGY/SNA/16/11/18 SABANews 1

VICTORIA – The largest photovoltaic, PV, farm in SEYCHELLES has now completely solar powered the isolated island of ALPHONSE.

Island nation taken over by solar power (Pic. SNA)

SNA quotes a top official of the Islands Development Company as saying the development means people here no longer need diesel fuel to make electricity.

The national news agency says the firm has installed a total of TWO-THOUSAND-220 dual glass high-efficiency solar panels on ZERO-POINT-SEVEN hectares of land: HALF towards the east and the other HALF towards the west, to produce electricity for the whole island.

The project is an initiative of the Islands Development Company as a source of alternative energy to cut costs and reduce the amount of heavy diesel fuel used to power TWO generators.

SNA says the scheme will also help to protect the environment from pollution, quoting Chief Executive Officer GLENNY SAVY as saying it is a real cost efficient plan that will save the ALPHONSE Island a lot of money.

He says they have used only FIVE barrels of fuel to power the standby generators for the past months as compared to FIVE and SEVEN barrels of fuels used every day previously.

Located 400 kilometres south-west of MAHE, the main island, the ALPHONSE atoll is part of the ALPHONSE group including ST FRANCOIS and BIJOUTIER, and the island has a single resort comprising beach bungalows and suites.

The authorities say their Green Energy Project is a combination of solar panels and lithium batteries for storage, covering 90 percent of the island’s energy use.

They say the solar panels produce around 800 kilowatts of electricity per day, more than 50 percent above the normal total power used daily on ALPHONSE.

Mr SAVY says the initiative will not only save money they pay for fuel consumption but also that which is going towards the transportation of the fuel to the island.

He says the Islands Development Company is making a profit by selling the electricity that it is producing, and the money will go towards infrastructure development on the island.

Financed by a SOUTH AFRICAN company METTLE SOLAR INVESTMENTS, the PV farm cost ONE-POINT-FIVE-MILLION US dollars – with the Islands Development Company injecting a total 37-THOUSAND US dollars.

Environment, Energy, and Climate Change Minister WALLACE COSGROW says the project is ONE that other islands, as well as Mahe, which can ONE day be fully powered by renewable energy, can follow.

Besides ALPHONSE, a similar photovoltaic farm will be set on ASTOVE and FARQHUAR islands by MARCH 2019 and the bigger one on DESROCHES island by JULY next year.

SNA says by early 2020, all islands under the management of Islands Development Company will be 90 percent powered by green energy.

The SADC country, a group of 115 islands on the western INDIAN Ocean, relies heavily on imported fossil fuel for power generation and transportation; and only TWO-POINT-FIVE percent of its electricity is from renewable sources.

The national news agency also says the authorities expect the TWO-POINT-FIVE percent to increase to FIVE percent in the coming THREE years, with a number of renewable energy projects.

SEYCHELLES is also planning to install AFRICA’s FIRST utility-scale Floating Solar Photovoltaic system on the lagoon at LE ROCHER, in the district of LES MAMELLES./Sabanews/cam

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