The Government of Vanuatu, through the Ministry of Climate Change with support and funding from the Government of Austria has implemented a solar mini grid located in Southwest Bay, Malekula.
The grid was coordinated through the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) program under the National Energy Road Map (NERM), to achieve electricity access for rural communities in Wintua and Lorlow.
The mini grid in Southwest Bay, Malekula is operated by the Wintua/Lorlow Electrical Cooperative Society Limited from October 2020.
The Utilities Regulatory Authority (The Authority) had approved a new electricity tariff for the Wintua and Lorlow solar mini grid of VT41.42 / kWh, from VT58/kWh on 17th of May 2023.
With the current 75kW installed capacity of the system, only around 27% is being used by customers of Wintua and Lorlow.
As a result, the Authority has allowed for two (2) consumption tranches that will be applied to customers to encourage and increase electricity consumption. The consumption billing will be applied as follows:
• Consumption Tranche (in kWh) — Tariff to be applied by the Operator (in VT/kWh)
• 0 to 12 kWh — VT41.42 /kWh
• More than 13 kWh — VT10.00 /kWh
The first consumption tranche is for the Operator to charge VT41.42 /kWh to the units of power purchased up to 12 kWh for the first kWh a customer purchases per month, for total units more than 13 kWh, a rate of VT10.00 /kWh will be applied.
This tariff incentive is to increase customer power consumption to make use of the under-utilised installed capacity.
The newly issued tariff is a 29% reduction in the tariff of VT58/kWh that was applied by the cooperative since November 2020.
The tariff will be effective for a period of 12 months, from the 1st of July 2023, after which another review will be conducted by the Authority before a new tariff is issued.
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