30 January 2017

Project to help establish renewable energy in rural PNG

PSDI SOE Reform Expert Laure Darcy inspects a proposed solar
farm site in Alotau.
A PSDI initiative to introduce private sector-provided solar power to provincial electricity grids in Papua New Guinea is moving forward, with site visits undertaken in the provincial capitals of Kavieng and Alotau.

The project will enable private sector operators to establish solar farms that will supply energy to power grids in regional centres. Taking a public-private partnership approach, PSDI will assist PNG Power Ltd to tender selected sites for solar farm development. The project will provide a model for increased private sector-provided renewable energy, which will reduce PNG Power’s overall cost of generation and increase the reliability of supply.

PSDI will assist PNG Power Ltd with feasibility studies of the proposed sites, tender preparation, and bid evaluation. PSDI may also assist with project implementation, including advising on proposed business models and power purchase agreements.

PSDI’s SOE Reform Expert Laure Darcy and a PSDI-recruited solar expert visited possible sites for private solar farms with representatives from PNG Power Ltd in late January. Due diligence undertaken through these visits will confirm if the sites are suitable for the project.

Francis Uratun from PNG Power (second from left), PNG Power
Kavieng Plant Manager Paul Topa (third from left) and PSDI's
consultant power expert Gavin Street inspect a potential solar farm
site at Kavieng. 
“The private sector has a lot to offer in securing a sustainable, lower-cost energy future for rural PNG,” says Ms Darcy. “The ability of private sector firms to innovate and provide lower-cost energy generation complements the Government’s expertise in energy distribution and responsibility for economic development. This partnership will produce tangible benefits for rural Papua New Guineans.”

Once assessment of the sites is complete a public notice will be issued calling for bids from private sector electricity providers to develop the sites.