Monday 19 March 2012, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva

The realisation of the 'many partners, one team' approach embodied in the Framework for Action on Energy Security in the Pacific moved another step forward when SPC and the Pacific Power Association (PPA), the two leading development agencies in the Pacific energy sector, commenced work in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) to conduct a review of tariffs for the Kosrae Utility Authority (KUA) and assist in rehabilitation of the Nanpil hydro in Pohnpei.

SPC and PPA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 3 November 2011 to effectively combine their resources and offer greater assistance and benefits to Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs).

In the signing ceremony Dr Jimmie Rodgers, SPC Director-General, stated that the MOU would allow SPC to collaborate more closely with PPA to assist PICTs achieve their national development outcomes in the energy sector. He further stated that there are natural synergies between PPA, which works with regional power utilities, and SPC, which provides regulatory assistance with the energy sector as well as technical support and policy advice on alternative sources of energy.

This year being the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, SPC and PPA began to put the MOU into practice with an exchange of letters to outline specific joint activities that support 'Sustainable Energy for All' in the north Pacific.

The first activity is the joint technical assistance to the KUA in the review of its tariff, an estimate of investment requirements to meet demand, calculation of long-run marginal cost of supply, an estimate of revenue requirements under various financing scenarios, identification of fuel adjustment mechanisms, and an assessment of the appropriateness of current base tariff.

Further, during the week 5-9 March, PPA's Renewable Energy Adviser, Iese Toimoana, visited Pohnpei to work with the SPC North-REP Energy Specialist, Emanuele Taibi, on developing a scope of the work to rehabilitate the Nanpil hydro in Pohnpei. The plan is to have the 725kW capacity hydro plant back in operation, which will contribute to current initiatives by FSM to reduce its dependency on fossil fuel for electricity generation. Once back on line, the hydro will contribute at least 7% of the total annual electricity generation of the Pohnpei Utility Corporation - saving 182,000 gallons of diesel.

There are additional planned joint activities for 2012 that include training on demand side management, participation in the PPA Conference and training on analysis and fault-finding to reduce transmission losses.

SPC's presence in energy in the north Pacific, more specifically in FSM, Palau and Marshall Islands is through the European Union-funded North Pacific ACP Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Project (North-REP) that is being implemented by the SPC Economic Development Division with its Project Management Office based at the SPC North Pacific Regional Office in Pohnpei, FSM