Laos-based Sunlabob Renewable Energy has been awarded a contract to provide training to PV engineers in the Pacific island state of Kiribati.
Funded by the European Development Fund, the company, which specialises in renewable energy provision in developing countries, will give instruction in on- and off-grid solar PV installation, operation and maintenance techniques.
The project follows Sunlabob winning another contract in Kiribati in early 2013 to supply equipment for a range of decentralised solar projects, including the installation of over 2,000 solar home systems and village solar ‘mini-grids’.
Kiribati is said to be one of the least developed of the Pacific island states.
Andy Schroeter, co-founder and CEO, Sunlabob, said: “Providing local training is directly in line with Sunlabob’s tradition: to ensure self-sustaining, long-lasting renewable energy access by equipping local individual with the right skills.
“We’re pleased to be able to not only supply the solar PV materials to Kiribati’s electrification initiative, but to also provide the necessary human knowledge and training.”
The first stage of the two-phase training programme will focus on familiarising local engineers with grid-connected solar PV systems, leading to the installation and commissioning of a 10kWp grid-connected system at the Kiribati Solar Energy Company (KSEC) headquarters.
The second stage will focus on off-grid solar-diesel hybrid systems, which will facilitate the implementation of hybrid solar systems at schools, small business and community centres throughout the islands.
Both phases of the programme will theoretical workshops and hands-on practical technical instruction.
“Without local capacity building, implementation of decentralized renewable energy cannot be sustainable,” said Sunlabob head engineer Antony Watkins, who will run the training programme.