A new agreement between the International Finance Corporation (IFC) – a member of the World Bank Group – and Energy Fiji Limited (EFL) will support the delivery of the largest solar project of its kind in the Pacific.
The $15 million (£11.6m) project will help reduce Fiji’s dependence on imported fossil fuels and cut greenhouse gas emissions, whilst supporting as many as 14,000 households to transition to solar energy.
The agreement allows EFL and IFC to move forward with the selection of a private sector partner for the project, which aims to deliver at least 15MW of solar power to the national grid.
IFC will also assist EFL in exploring potential renewable energy sources in Vanua Levu.
Around 45% of Fiji’s current power needs are supplied through fossil fuels, 50% through hydropower and the remaining 5% from biomass and wind.
At least 90% of Fijians are connected to EFL’s grid, which needs a total generation capacity of 267MW daily.
EFL Chief Executive Hasmukh Patel said: “EFL needs to meet Fiji’s demand for electricity, which is growing with the increase in connectivity to rural customers via grid extension and the ever-increasing demand from industries and the business community.
“Ideally, we would like to be self-sufficient in terms of energy sources and reduce our dependency on imported fuel. Fortunately, Fiji has a lot of renewable energy sources and we are working with our development partners to explore these.”