Securing access to renewable energy on Solomon Islands’ Savo Island

Securing access to renewable energy on Solomon Islands’ Savo Island

Off-Grid Renewable Energy Partnerships Solomon Islands Resources and Clean Energy Active



Partner contribution

$ 145,780

DFAT contribution

$ 249,982

Icon Total Funds

Total Value

$ 395,762

Start: June 2024 - End: May 2025


Australian Government

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.


Archipelago Energy

Archipelago Energy is an energy equity organisation with a business mission to reduce energy poverty in marginalised communities through renewable energy.

About this partnership

A partnership to secure access to renewable energy on Solomon Islands’ Savo Island.

The Solomon Islands is home to 750,000 people, scattered across 147 inhabited islands with 87% of its population currently living without effective access to electricity. By 2050, it aims to enable 100% access to energy, with a 40% off-grid (rural) target by 2025.

Scalable commercial models are required to support the Solomon Islands to achieve electrification targets now and into the future. However, developing a commercially-sustainable, domestic, off grid electricity supply service that can work across all its diverse communities comes with great complexity and risk, requiring substantial ongoing funding despite low revenues.

About the initiative

The partnership will explore a scalable model for a commercial off-grid renewable energy services business on Savo Island.

Savo is a community of 3,000 people, in 630 households and 13 formal communities. The model will examine how fish trading, an economic activity that 80% of the community participate in, could fund community energy services, such as schools and healthcare services, and contribute to building local energy infrastructure to grow the island’s trading capacity, which is currently limited due to traders not being able to refrigerate or freeze the fish.

The partnership will seek to demonstrate the commercial and environmental viability of the business model in two Savo communities – Kaogele and Kuila – through:

  • A scalable fish trading operation based on refrigeration provided by new renewable energy equipment.
  • A tiered, household energy as a service (EaaS) model.
  • A business partnership, which includes an operations and support model, between Archipelago Energy and micro-Independent Power Producers (micro-IPPs).

The partnership aims to transform the livelihoods of the local community who currently have no access to energy and provide a blueprint for other island communities in the Solomon Islands and the Pacific.

Key contributions from partners

  • Archipelago Energy will be leading the project, working with local staff, including all project development, operations, engagement and management.
  • 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.

Hear from our partners

Archipelago Energy Managing Director John Marsh
John Marsh | Managing Director, Archipelago Energy

“Archipelago Energy is a mission-based Australian business. We are driven to find a truly commercial way to enable access to renewable energy for our Pacific friends and neighbours. Many are living in the most remote places and for whom today there is no electricity in homes or to run a small business.

“We believe the most sustainable and effective way to change this is in genuine business partnerships with local entrepreneurs and leaders. Enabled by this partnership, we are very excited to be working with Bernard and Nester Kemakeza and other friends and partners on Savo Island so they can create a renewable energy future for their kids and their communities.” John Marsh | Managing Director, Archipelago Energy


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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