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Wind Farm Queries Takes Centre Stage

Wind Farm Queries Takes Centre Stage
Butoni Wind Farm
January 12
10:19 2018

Butoni Wind Farm has been one of the major topics of discussion during the Parliament Standing Committee on Economic Affairs sitting yesterday.

About Butoni Wind Farm

The Butoni Wind farm project was commissioned in 2008. With 37 Turbines (assuming average wind speeds of 5.47m/s) each generating a capacity of 275kW, for a combined total of approximately 10MW.

Fiji Electricity Authority chief executive officer Hasmukh Patel presenting on the questions posed by the committee said: “Proper feasibility study needs to be carried out to determine the right locations and the type of wind farm technology that needs to be installed at the site prior to implementation.

“Locals needs to be well trained on the operations and maintenance of the wind farms;

“Spare parts should be sourced from more than one supplier/manufacturer.

“A ranking exercise comparing the economic evaluation of the Butoni Wind Farm with other potential renewable energy projects needs to be carried out to justify the project that needs to be prioritised and developed first in terms of the NPV of the project and energy generated.

“Butoni probably is not the right location and FEA is exploring the possibility of relocating the wind farm to another feasible location.

“We are working closely with the Department of Energy who have installed wind masts around the country to determine a feasible site.”

One of the questions posed by the committee was: “Could you advise  on the progress on FEA restructure in terms of partial privatisation of the authority?

“Government intends to partially privatise FEA by selling 49 per cent of its shares to the public,” Mr Patel said.

“This exercise is currently undertaken by the Ministry of Public Enterprises in consultation with FEA and is expected to be completed in 2018.”

Mandatory Loan Repayments

Another question posed was could you explain the relationship with the mandatory loan repayments with Suva City Council? Please explain its origin.

Mr Patel said: “Suva City Council was generating and supplying electricity to Suva City at that time prior to the development of the Monasavu Hydroelectric Scheme.

“FEA was established, incorporated and constituted under the provisions of the Electricity Act of 1966 and began operating from 1st August of that year.

“The Government then decided for SCC to transfer its electricity business to the Fiji Electricity Authority.

“This transfer/sale was done at a price of $6,157,254 in 1978 at a fixed interest rate of three per cent for a term of 87 years via a loan arrangement.

“The loan repayment is mandatory as it has to be repaid over a fixed period of 87 years,” Mr Patel said.

Feedback:  maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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