Arlington, VA – Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency announced that it has awarded a grant to Fiji’s Ministry of Finance, Strategic Planning, National Development and Statistics (MoF) for a feasibility study that will advance the country’s dual goals of 100% rural electrification and renewable power generation by 2036. MoF selected Arizona State University’s Laboratory for Energy and Power Solutions (ASU) to carry out the study, in collaboration with the international intergovernmental Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and California-based XENDEE Corporation.
“Last September, the White House designated USTDA as the lead implementing agency of its Pacific Island Strategic Infrastructure Initiative. Our partnership with Fiji demonstrates concrete action toward deepening U.S. engagement on infrastructure development with the Pacific Islands,” said Enoh T. Ebong, USTDA’s Director. “Fiji has ambitious goals to connect its citizens to clean sources of power and address the impacts of climate change. USTDA is proud to partner with the Government of Fiji and to bring U.S. solutions in support of their vision.”
The goal of USTDA’s study is to support the development of up to 75 solar-powered minigrids with energy storage. The study will assess 300 isolated communities that lack access to reliable and affordable electricity and prioritize 75 for community engagement and detailed feasibility assessments. This will include the development of technical models, geospatial site planning, sustainable business models, climate change impact assessments, and ownership and operation models. The study will also include the preparation of public tender documents for the construction, operation and maintenance of the minigrids.
“The Ministry of Finance expresses gratitude to USTDA for this new partnership through USTDA and the ASU,” said Shiri Gounder, Permanent Secretary for the MoF. “We are confident that USTDA’s feasibility study, together with ASU and GGGI’s guidance, will bring successful outcomes that will contribute to a clean and sustainable growth in Fiji’s energy sector. Only 96% of people in Fiji have access to electricity and through the Fiji Rural Electrification Fund. Our government is striving to address the energy needs of the remaining 4% of our population.”
U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Fiji Marie Damour, said: “With support from the United States, the Government of Fiji, along with public and private sector partners, will begin to create market opportunities for investors in clean energy and support affordable energy access for rural communities.”
In addition to the Pacific Island Strategic Infrastructure Initiative, USTDA’s support for this project advances the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, with the goal of promoting clean energy, decarbonization, and infrastructure across the globe.
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority infrastructure projects in emerging economies. USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project preparation and partnership building activities that develop sustainable infrastructure and foster economic growth in partner countries.
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