Transfer of technological expertise for the implementation of solar PV technology in the Pacific region
The Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP), in collaboration with the Pacific Power Association (PPA), implemented a series of technical workshops, targeting engineers and technicians from PPA member utilities, with the objective to enhance local capacity and technical know-how for the implementation of grid-connected and standalone photovoltaic (PV) systems.
The initiative builds on an initial workshop on renewable energy options delivered jointly by PPA and the Partnership in March 2005, which revealed local interest in, and potential for, solar energy options in the Pacific region.
The first workshop of this new series, targeting electricity utilities from Northern Pacific Islands, took place in Majuro, Marshall Islands, from March 31 to April 11, 2008. The two-week workshop brought together 20 participants from ten different utilities, who received technical and hands-on training in the design, procurement, construction, operation and maintenance of PV systems. Utility engineers from the Marshall Islands, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia took part in the training.
The second workshop, targeting Southern Pacific Island utilities, took place from November 3-14, 2008, in Nadi, Fiji, and hosted a total of 18 engineers from nine utilities from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon, Tonga and Tuvalu. The participants attended lectures and took part in hands-on technical training sessions on a daily basis for the duration of the workshop. All the presentations and workshop proceedings are available here.
This joint initiative was particularly timely and well-received in the Pacific region as many of the participating utilities are in the process of implementing country-wide electrification programs based on PV systems, a wide-scale initiative subsidised by the European Union, and other donor agencies, in the region.