Piloting a sustainable solar energy model for Fiji’s remote school communities

Piloting a sustainable solar energy model for Fiji’s remote school communities

Off-Grid Renewable Energy Partnerships Fiji Resources and Clean Energy Active

25%

75%

Partner contribution

$ 68,000

DFAT contribution

$ 210,000

Icon Total Funds

Total Value

$ 278,000


Start: May 2024 - End: March 2026

Partners

Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade works with international partners and other countries to tackle global challenges, increase trade and investment opportunities, protect international rules, keep our region stable and help Australians overseas.

Its Time Foundation

Its Time Foundation delivers renewable power solutions for remote Pacific Island schools, transforming education outcomes and reducing carbon emissions.

About this partnership

A partnership to future-proof solar energy systems for remote school communities in Fiji through effective monitoring and maintenance.

Context

In remote Fijian island communities, schools face challenges with expensive and carbon-emitting generators, limiting education opportunities due to unreliable power. Through this, the gap between education outcomes for schoolchildren in urban and remote areas widens, impacting both education quality and teacher retention.

Off-grid solar offers a sustainable solution as a renewable energy source, but often fails due to a lack of long-term maintenance strategies and funding for solar systems. Effective maintenance can more than double a system’s lifespan, enhancing environmental and social benefits. Initial design considerations, like choosing durable equipment, are crucial for longevity and future maintenance.

About the initiative

This unique partnership is set to create a scalable model for future-proofing solar systems through effective monitoring and maintenance for schools within remote communities.

Building on its record of installing 30 remote school solar systems, Its Time will install a high-quality solar system at the remote Fijian Buakonikai Primary School on Rabi Island as part of this partnership, providing reliable 24-hour power to the school and its teachers’ homes. This will be a model system for development of the ongoing maintenance funding project. It will also install a StarLink remote monitoring system and establish a maintenance strategy, with a sustainable funding model for ongoing support from key stakeholders, ensuring its sustainability. Detailed guidelines and best practices will be developed for maintenance, with resources made available for broader use in renewable energy projects globally.

Key contributions from partners

  • Its Time Foundation will manage the partnership, including the design, installation and implementation of the monitoring and maintenance model, including developing a sustainable funding model. It will engage with key local stakeholders to ensure the partnership’s success, as well as creating resources for scaling the model in other remote communities.
  • The Australian Government will contribute catalytic funding. It will also connect partners to networks, provide support through the BPP in gender and disability inclusion, business models, safeguards and impact measurement, as well as support with communications to enable national and global recognition.

This partnership was selected through the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP) Call for Partnerships to Support Off-Grid Renewable Energy in the Pacific and Timor-Leste.

 

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