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MRA MOVES TO SOLAR

The Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) will save about 60 percent of its annual energy bills averaging about K650, 000, with the launching of its new Photo-Voltaic (PV) solar power system. 

The PV solar power system was launched today at the Mining Haus by the Chairman of the MRA Board, Mr. Benny Kimisive and Officer-In-Charge Nathan Mosusu.

The grid-tie system installed on the roof-top of the Mining Haus has a capacity of 162 Kilo Watt. It will be used as a power source which will operate concurrently with the PNG Power Limited (PPL) grid, to supply the building’s power demand of about 250 KW. The system is designed to operate at optimum with the balance of the building’s power demand to be supplied by the PPL utility grid. This will have a great effect on the final electricity bills.

The project has been installed in partnership with PPL. It is part of PPL’s project called the ‘Roof-top solar photovoltaic pilot project.

Mr Mosusu while officiating at the event said the project is a demonstration of the MRA’s commitment towards achieving the government’s national strategic development plan of generating 25 percent of electricity from renewable resources by 2030.

He said we had been relying on fossil fuel for electricity and that this was the beginning of a paradigm shift towards doing things smarter using greener technology, and solar energy is a step in the right direction.

Mr. Mosusu said in 2018 alone, PNG imported about 42, 000 barrels of fossil fuel oil, adding that the MRA’s new power source would contribute to the reduction in these statistics. The OIC said the biggest share of the 42, 000 barrels of oil will be attributed to the power requirements of the mining industry.

“As the regulator, we at MRA must set the standards in reducing our carbon footprint, so that the industry can hopefully follow suit,” said Mr Mosusu.

Chairman of the MRA Board Benny Kimisive, said that the board had been supportive of this project since inception adding that this would greatly reduce MRA’s power cost.

Representing PPL CEO Obed Batia was PPL Senior Manager Tariff Regulations and Government Roy Daggy.

Mr Daggy said in a statement that the initiative of Roof-top Solar PV project is part of the organisation’s Pacific Renewable Energy Advisory Project, which is supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Geo Scientist and project coordinator Conrad Kumul spoke on the technical aspects of the rooftop solar system. He stated that MRA was paying at least K50, 000 to K70, 000 in electricity bills to PNG Power with the solar project which is expected to decrease to about K20, 000, the first government agency to reduce costs in moving to renewable energy.

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