Seychelles' government assessing buildings for solar power panel installation
The 143 Kilowatt peak (KWp) solar photovoltaic power system installed on the Central Bank building. (Seychelles Nation)
The Seychelles' Public Utilities Corporation (PUC) and the Department of Energy are currently assessing prospective government buildings to install photovoltaic panels, said a top official.
These are the latest steps Seychelles is taking towards achieving 15 percent renewable penetration by 2030 and the greater vision of hitting net-zero emissions by 2050.
"We are assessing whether the earmarked institutions' roofs can sustain having the panels," the Principal Secretary for Energy and Climate Change, Tony Imaduwa, told SNA.
Among the buildings being assessed are health centres, police stations and other government offices to see if their roofs can hold the PV systems first of all. The assessment is on energy consumption and whether the grid can integrate them as well as if there are plans to carry out renovation work on the buildings.
"It will not make sense to install the panel on a building such as a police station that will be undergoing renovations soon," explained Imaduwa.
Seychelles has received funding from an Indian government grant to support a programme to install PV systems on government buildings. Additional funding has been added to next year's budget to ensure the completion of the second phase.
The first phase of the installation of PV panels on certain government buildings is completed and the Department of Energy has started work for the second phase.
The Barbarbarons emergency housing estate in the west of Mahe, the main island, and the National Assembly building at Ile du Port are some of the buildings included in the first phase.
"We started this programme some years back under the PV democratisation project. Through the ongoing project, more government buildings will be identified," said Imaduwa.
Meanwhile, to complement this program, the Department is also running one for schools under the Solar School Project partly funded by the Chinese government.
"So far we have covered schools on La Digue and Praslin and some on Mahe," explained Imaduwa.
Currently, the largest PV panel is on the roof of the Central Bank building in Victoria.
Seychelles -- a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean -- relies heavily on imported fossil fuel for power generation and transportation. Currently, only 2.5 percent of the island nation's electrical energy is from renewable sources.