PT Surya Energi Indotama (SEI), a subsidiary of PT Len Industri, has completed a development project of Solar Power Plant with a total of 492kWp in East Sumba. The power plant will distribute electricity to 909 houses in 48 KM long remote areas by using poles with solar panels installed on it that can generate electricity. With this design, large area like conventional Solar Power Plant is no longer needed.
There are 11 systems built in five villages namely Tawui, Lailunggi, Praimadita, Tandula Jangga, and Praiwitu. This charity program is important because remote areas like those villages are not covered by PLN (the Indonesian National Electricity Company). The use of Solar Power Plant will solve the problem of electricity availability at a cost that is relatively affordable for rural communities rather than using fossil fuels.
The construction of the system by PT Surya Energi Indotama was conducted in September 2017 until March 2018. In that period, construction was built from the beginning until the Solar Power Plant could function and distribute electricity to the local houses.
On April 11, 2018, the inauguration was held in Tawui Village and opened by Jonathan Nash, the Vice President Deputy of Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). There were also the Len Director of Finance and President Commissioner of PT SEI, Priadi Ekatama Sahari, President Director of PT SEI, Bambang Iswanto and Director of Engineering and Operations of PT SEI, Tri Bakti. Welcome speeches were also delivered by East Sumba Vice Regent, Umbu Lili Pechwali, and the Head of Provincial ESDM (Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources) Officer of NTT Province, Boni Marasin.
In the implementation of this Solar Power Plant, ownership and community participation to manage is very important. Therefore, during the construction period, local communities through BUMDes (Village-run enterprises) have been involved in the construction and installation process, and they were also trained for the Solar Power Plant operation and maintenance. In addition, the community also became the majority shareholder (51%) facility.
PT Surya Energi Indotama made the local community involved in every stage. The involvement is expected to become the most suitable long-term management. During the project, training and mentoring in the field of management and entrepreneurship were also provided to over 250 women and men in the villages. The training is intended to improve the economic level of the community so that they can pay for electricity consumption and the funds can be managed as the Solar Power Plant long-term maintenance operational costs.