The Solomon Islands has over twenty rural boarding schools, all of which rely on intermittent diesel generation providing only a few hours of power per day. The EU-funded project "Adapting to Climate Change and Sustainable Energy" (ACSE, implemented by GIZ (German Corporation for International Cooperation GmbH) helps ensure that the Selwyn College has secure access to safe and clean electricity so that it can deliver on its mission to educate the future generation of the country.
Following the visit, Mr Belliard said: ''The EU is proud to support this important infrastructure development, as it gives students access to clean and safe energy. The EU's investment in this area is aligned with the government's National Development Strategy 2011-2020 which seeks to achieve a renewable energy target of 50% by 2020. The EU and the Pacific share a vision for a low carbon climate-resilient future. Helping the Pacific Islands Countries and Territories address the challenges of climate change is a priority for the EU.'' The solar hybrid system combines solar power with battery storage to provide 24/7 power access to the school. The system also integrates a diesel generator to provide additional generation to supply the school’s load, and recharge the batteries at times of high-cloud, low sun, or high energy usage.
''Solar hybrid systems are the most cost effective and reliable option to provide continuous power supply to the schools, which in turn, will boost education outcomes for rural Solomon Islands students. This is a pilot project that can provide a blueprint for replication by other unpowered boarding schools'' added Belliard who on Monday co-chaired the 7th EU-Solomon Islands Political Dialogue.