Energy operations continue to deliver as 2020 comes to a close

Three sovereign projects in the energy sector were approved during the past week helping increase the overall energy portfolio for the year despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
On 27 October, a grant of $3 million from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction was approved to improve access to disaster-resilient clean energy for low-income households in Palau. The Palau Disaster-Resilient Clean Energy Financing Project will provide affordable clean energy financing to around 900 qualified target beneficiaries, including women. The financing support will enable low-income households to acquire and install solar home systems and solar water systems that are expected to improve their living conditions and facilitate long-term social and economic development. This approach is the first of its kind to be implemented in a Pacific developing country and has a high probability of being replicated elsewhere in the region. The project team is led by PAEN’s Rafayil Abbasov.
In South Asia, additional financing of about $10.5 million ($7.47 concessional loan and $2.73 grant) was approved on 29 October for the expansion of the Preparing Outer Island for Sustainable Energy Development (POISED) Project in the Maldives that initially aimed to shift from diesel-based power generation in 160 outer islands to renewable energy (RE)-based hybrid systems. The additional support will further expand the project scope to include 12 more outer islands for the installation of RE-based hybrid systems and the enhancement of mini-grids, energy management systems, and supervisory control and data acquisition systems. The additional financing will also fund the installation of a solar photovoltaic (PV)  system that will power ice-making machines in four outer islands to support the fishing industry; development and introduction of a climate and disaster-resilient electricity distribution system in another outer island; and a pilot project to demonstrate the viability of solar PV-battery-operated ferry transport. The project is led by SAEN’s Jaimes Kolantharaj.

Jaimes is also leading the Meghalaya Power Distribution Sector Improvement Project in India whose funding of about $132.8 million was approved on 30 October. The project will finance the construction of 23 substations, refurbishment, and modernization of 45 substations including the provision of control room equipment and protection systems; installation and upgrade of 2,214 kilometers of distribution lines and associated facilities covering three out of six circles in the state of Meghalaya. The installation of smart meters is also part of the scope of the project to better monitor and curtain commercial losses. Upon completion, the project will have improved reliability and quality of power supply for 180,000 households in a state beset with constant power interruptions and dismal electricity consumption per capita while also improving the balance sheet of the distribution utility.
A grant of $2 million from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction piggybacks the project for the specific purpose of installing RE-based mini-grids in three villages and three schools that will help improve access to electricity and support income generation particularly for women and other socially vulnerable groups.


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