News

Bringing Maintenance and Repair Services for PV Mini-grid Closer to the Users

Dec 12, 2017

Nusa Tenggara Barat will be the first province to have accessible maintenance and repair services for photovoltaic (PV) mini-grid. Held in 4-6 December 2017 in Mataram, local private players in electricity sector, engineering and vocational students convened in a training on maintenance and repair services for PV mini-grid. The training aims to prepare local technicians with the new skills and knowledge particularly on PV mini-grid. Within two-days training programme, 20 local technicians from seven electrical companies as well as 30 students from Mataram and Sumbawa learned about the fundamentals of PV mini-grid technology as well as handling the maintenance and troubleshooting inquiries. Subsequently, on the third day, the selected participants had the chance to practice on the field at two PV mini-grid systems in Lombok Utara regency.

The event also sought for potential local partner(s) to team up with TMLEnergy, an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) company with experience in developing numerous PV mini-grids systems across Indonesia, both from public funding and private financing. The partnership aims to provide services for PV mini-grids installed in the province, starting from maintenance and repair services. This initiative is vital since the Government of Indonesia is pushing solar energy to be adopted by regions that are still lacking of basic electricity access. To date, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has built nearly 600 installations of PV mini-grids with minimum capacity of 15 kWp. The systems are spread across remote rural areas and managed by the local communities.

Learning from experiences in supporting rural electrification in Indonesia, it is evident that low accessibility of technical services has become a major hurdle to sustain operation of the renewable energy systems on site. Active participation of local technicians will catalyse improvement of this unfortunate situation. In the meantime, TMLEnergy has the necessary expertise and experience in the construction and maintenance of PV mini-grid technology across the country. Through the cooperation between Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and TMLEnergy which was initiated since September 2016, it is expected that the local actors will actively adopt the effort to sustain the PV mini-grid facilities in the region.

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