State-owned electricity company PLN has established three solar power plants in Alor regency, East Nusa Tenggara, as part of the company’s commitment to boosting renewable energy in the country while providing basic infrastructure for frontier, outermost and least developed regions.
The plants have a combined capacity of 640 kilowatt peak (KWp) or less than 1 percent of the province’s total power production capacity.
PLN said in a statement on Tuesday that the company had established a 280 KWp solar panel plant on Ternate Island, a 110 KWp plant on Treweng Island and a 250 KWp plant on Tribur Island.
“Going forward, we hope to work with the regent in bringing electricity to Alor’s unelectrified areas,” said PLN regional general manager Ignatius Rendroyoko, adding that the company was committed to boosting renewable energy in East Nusa Tenggara’s hard to reach areas.
The majority of East Nusa Tenggara, which has the lowest electrification rate in Indonesia, relies on diesel-fired power plants, which contributed 45.1 percent of the province’s 430.75 megawatts (MW) installed power production capacity last year. Solar energy only contributed 0.2 percent (1.06MW) in the same year, PLN data shows.
“Ternate Island has around 1,000 residents. It’s amazing that PLN is providing electricity for all of Ternate’s people,” said Alor Regent Amon Djobo, “We have to take care of what PLN has given us so we can enjoy it continuously, not only for one or two years.”
Well-maintained solar panels have a lifespan of between 20 and 30 years, but if not maintained, such panels last less than three years.