GridMarket Chief Executive Officer Nicholas Davis revealed during a meeting with the Palau national and state leadership on August 22 at the Palasia Hotel that some of the solar panels already in place in Palau are not doing anything.
Davis, during his presentation, showed photos of solar panels that are already sitting on roofs that are not actually contributing anything to the electrical grid, referring to these as his “collage of broken dreams.”
Among those installations identified by Davis is the Palau Community College’s 150 kilowatt rooftop installation which he revealed is actually just sitting idly on the rooftop. The installation on the Belau National Hospital was also found to be partially functioning and calls for the need to add resiliency on it and also add battery.
Davis said that there are many solar companies that have a lot of good will, but he reiterated that there should be good practice that should come with that will.
“Bad practice is when a company or a country drops a bunch of technology and two years later it does not produce anything, that’s the key point that we’re trying to make sure that never happens again,” Davis said.
Davis emphasized the need for Palau to hold any participants, partners, and companies accountable with the installations to ensure that “there is a network of people to maintain and operate systems.”
“There are a lot of good stuff and opportunities for us to re-ignite them and to fix them but we need to make sure that does not happen,” Davis expressed, referring to the installations that are not functioning.
Davis, together with a group from Japanese company, Marubeni Corporation, Chinese company, Tianshi, GEAC, and Siemens, had the chance to visit some sites in Palau during their one-week visitation last August 17 to 22.
Davis added that during their site visits, they saw many rooftops in Palau that are great fit for persistence including some open space, fields, and reservoirs.
According to Davis, their target is to get on with the project in early 2019 and have the installations completed within that year before the diesel, which is currently used for generating electricity, gets too expensive. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)