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Patel Urges Firms In West To Install Solar Panels

Patel Urges Firms In West To Install Solar Panels
Standing front: Khem Swagat with his family and staff at the opening Swagat restaurant at Flagstaff Plaza on November 19, 2018. Photo: Maraia Vula
October 04
12:47 2014

Fiji Electricity Authority has been briefing its corporate customers in the Western Division on the impact of the prevailing dry spell on the supply of electricity in Viti Levu.
Chief executive Hasmukh Patel briefed the customers on the contingency plans FEA had put in place to stretch the water level at the Monasavu Dam for as long as possible before reaching the critical level.
“We have received below average rainfall for about seven to eight months this year and since April, FEA has changed its power generation mix with fossil fuels,” he said.
He also briefed customers how they can play a role in helping FEA to stretch the water level at the dam and how to ease the hit taken by the authority such as the installation of solar panels.
“Once you install solar panels, you can still be connected to the FEA grid,” Mr Patel said.
“However, solar power being a variable supply would not be a good idea for FEA to have 40MW or 30MW solar farms,’’ he said.
“The reason being that if you have a cloud cover, you end up in a black out but if you are connected to the grid, than FEA is there to take.”
Mr Patel encouraged customers to install solar panels because this would alleviate FEA from taking the hit during the prolonged dry spell.
He said it could also be beneficial for private companies who can then feed back surplus to the FEA grid but it should be compatible.
“We have some private companies who have installed solar panels at Port Denarau and RB Patel Supermarket at Jet Point in Nadi and a dozen of them have already started feeding back to the grid,” he said.
But Mr Patel said for a larger scale, FEA is developing a policy to attract companies to do a commercial venture who can then feed back surplus power to the grid.
Furthermore, Mr Patel assured customers that power will not be rationed and there would be no hike in electricity bills but to use power wisely.


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