Foreigners in Fiji Going Green with Residential Solar Systems

Solar Power

For years international expatriates have been flocking to Fiji to enjoy our weather, beautiful natural landscapes, and laid-back lifestyle. Just like Fijian locals, they struggle to access safe, reliable and affordable energy to power their homes. An expat household in the residential resort development of Pacific Harbour has recently invested in a Vision Energy Solutions (VES) grid-tied solar system. The family would like to encourage other residents to upgrade to renewable energy.

Pacific Harbour is well known as the adventure capital of Fiji. Located on the southeast coast of Viti Levu, only a two-hour drive from Nadi International Airport, it boasts beautiful waterways, a pristine 2km beach, and a golf course. Many agree it’s an ideal location to purchase or build a tropical villa.

Although the location is exquisite, that doesn’t mean luxury communities are free from the typical infrastructure challenges of living in Fiji. Many who settled in Fiji from overseas are accustomed to modern conveniences, especially abundant electricity 24/7 to power all of their appliances and electronics. Fortunately, many expat residents feel a responsibility to not endanger the climate or Fiji’s natural beauty by using dirty fossil fuels to power their lifestyles. In fact, they would like to do their part to provide economic opportunities, improve infrastructure and invest in climate change mitigation efforts. These are some of the reasons the Noble family contacted VES for a free energy assessment on their property to evaluate the feasibility of a grid-tied solar system.

Mr. Stephen Noble shares his passion for solar and his experience partnering with VES, “I lived in an off-the-grid solar-powered house in Taveuni island for 20 years, so I’m very familiar with solar technology. When we moved to Fiji’s main island, the option for grid-connected electricity was a relief. Even though it wasn’t a necessity, I still wanted to explore investing in solar to save money on my monthly electric bills. Everyone at VES understood how particular I am about my meticulously kept house and property. They were very neat and precise in their installation workmanship, professional in our interactions, and provided excellent follow-up customer service.”

The VES solar technicians concluded the household consumes an average of 955 kWh per month. Based on this usage level, the solar experts recommended a 5.74 kWp (410W x 14 Trina Solar solar panels) rooftop utility connected system. The new system is forecasted to generate approximately 585 kWh of power per month, which will offset approximately 57% of the home’s current monthly energy usage. Investing in a solar system will not only reduce their dependence on the utility grid and reduce their monthly energy bills but also increase the value of their home when it’s time to sell. The client was delighted to discover the investment recovery period was only 5.75 years. After the monthly energy savings equals the original investment cost, the system will continue to produce free green energy for the remaining years of the system’s lifetime, typically over 20 years total.

VES’ Business Development Manager, Srinath Dolage, explains what a pleasure it has been to partner with this client. Mr. Dolage says, “Mr. Noble wanted to fully understand the project parameters before making a well-informed decision. He has been more engaged in the energy assessment, financial analysis, and system design process than our average customer. It has been refreshing to partner with a customer that fully understands and appreciates the overall long-term value and impact of a renewable energy system, instead of simply looking at the upfront cost and projected investment ROI.”

This project was deemed ideal for a new high tech SolarEdge HD-Wave inverter. The HD-Wave technology brings in a new era for traditional solar PV inverter technologies. This world-class technology won the prestigious 2016 Intersolar Award and the renowned 2018 Edison Award. Designed to work with smart SolarEdge power optimizers to complete the most efficient DC to AC conversion system possible. The record-breaking 99% efficiency of this system results in more energy production per system, which improves customer ROI.

VES Engineer, Ernest Hickes, was excited to recommend this new technology for the Noble household. Mr. Hickes exclaims, “This is the first SolarEdge HD-Wave grid-tied inverter installation in Fiji! This project was ideal for this advanced technology. We hope other Fijian residents, like Mr. Noble, share his level of enthusiasm to go green!”

Mr. Noble agrees with VES’ recommendation to install the best system available, “I am very proud to be the first owner in Fiji of this state of the art solar system. I am eager to use the remote monitoring system that can be accessed anywhere on my cell phone, even when I’m eating lunch in Suva.” As a residential real estate broker in Fiji, Stephen assured VES that his company, Noble Realty, will be letting its existing and future customers know about this new technology recently introduced to Fiji.

VES takes safety very seriously. The advanced safety features is another reason VES chooses to install SolarEdge components for all clients. VES Installation Manager, Kinivuwai Koroi, explains, “Similar to our commercial projects, we adhere to all safety and engineering standards very strictly for all domestic projects. Our intention is to raise the bar in Fiji’s residential solar standards for maximum safety and resilience, as it should be.” With Solar Edge’s automatic shut-down features and multiple ways to manually power down the system when needed, the VES clients can rest assured anyone who works around their rooftop solar system will be safe.

VES was honored to install this new SolarEdge HD-Wave inverter technology in Fiji and hopes the desire to invest in green energy spreads across the country. Ask for a free energy assessment for your home or business today!

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