NEWS & UPDATES
SARES Lights Up 100 Households in Marudi With Renewable Solar Energy
Ministry of Utilities, Sarawak Energy and village communities to work together in community based SARES programme to light up rural Sarawak
KUCHING, 31 MARCH 2019, SUNDAY: Under the Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme or SARES, about 827 residents from 100 households in Long Ukok, Long Patan and Long Pahlo in Marudi now have access to 24-hour electricity.
A handover ceremony was held at Long Ukok in Marudi today to commemorate the completion and commissioning of the solar-powered systems, officiated by Assistant Minister for Rural Electricity Supply Sarawak, Datuk Dr Haji Abdul Rahman Junaidi.
In the Miri division, SARES has already powered up about 50 remote communities of almost 2,300 households, comprising 28 villages in Telang Usan, 7 in Long Lama, 9 in Beluru and 6 in Marudi. By 2020, about 120 remote communities in the Miri division will have access to 24-hour reliable and renewable electricity supply under SARES.
SARES is an innovative government-community partnership model utilising renewable off-grid solutions to light up Sarawak’s most remote communities. It is one of several initiatives under the Masterplan, which is driven and funded by the Sarawak Government via the Ministry of Utilities Sarawak and implemented by Sarawak Energy.
In his speech at the event, Abdul Rahman said, “The Accelerated Rural Electrification Masterplan aims to expedite full electricity coverage for Sarawak by 2025 through a mix of strategies. This includes expanding the grid by extending transmission and distribution infrastructure as well as lighting up remote communities through off-grid solutions.”
“An allocation of RM2.37 billion has been approved for 2019-2020 to accelerate rural electrification coverage to 97% by 2020 towards full electrification by 2025,” he continued.
He was joined by Dato Gerawat Gala, Deputy Speaker for the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly, who is also the assemblyman for Mulu; Dennis Ngau, the assemblyman for Telang Usan; and representatives from relevant agencies and community leaders. Sarawak Energy was represented by its Vice President for Rural Electrification, Dr Chen Shiun (郑勲).
Datu Sharbini Suhaili, Sarawak Energy Group Chief Executive Officer, said when commenting on the event,
"In the future, these remote communities can be connected to the main grid when road infrastructure is developed or improved, but in the meantime, villages located very far from the grid will be able to have access to electricity supply with SARES.”
“SARES is designed to be sustainable in the longer term and involves the community from planning through to implementation. After the projects are completed and implemented, the SARES team continues to provide technical support and trains the beneficiary communities to operate and maintain the system.”
Adding on, Dr Chen said, “However, if any major work is required, our team is ready to be deployed to handle the issue and to ensure reliable supply to the residents.”
“These solar-powered systems are replacing noisy and expensive diesel generator sets with limited running hours, to meet basic household electricity needs with lighting, fans, a television, a freezer and a cooker. In addition, the systems are simple in design without any compromise on safety,” Dr Chen concluded.
SARES is expected to electrify about 15,600 households in remote villages by 2021 with either solar or micro-hydro solutions. Launched in 2016, the RM830mil programme has accelerated electricity coverage in Sarawak and has lighted up almost 5,000 of the 15,600 households.
A group photo with Assistant Minister for Rural Electricity Supply Sarawak, Datuk Dr Haji Abdul Rahman Junaidi(centre), Mulu assemblyman Dato Gerawat Gala (Ninth from right), Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau (sixth from right), Sarawak Energy Vice President for Rural Electrification Dr Chen Shiun (10th from right) along with the three village headmen and their SARES ownership certificates and others.
Sarawak Energy Vice President for Rural Electrification Dr Chen Shiun symbolically hands over ownership of SARES to Long Ukok village headman Christopher Pusu witnessed by Assistant Minister for Rural Electricity Supply Sarawak, Datuk Dr Haji Abdul Rahman Junaidi(centre), Mulu assemblyman Dato Gerawat Gala (eight from right), Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau (fifth from right) and others.
Sarawak Energy Manager for SARES Christopher Wesley Ajan (right) briefly explains on the solar powered supply system to Assistant Minister for Rural Electricity Supply Sarawak, Datuk Dr Haji Abdul Rahman Junaidi(fourth from right), Mulu assemblyman Dato Gerawat Gala (sixth from right), Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau (eight from right) and others. Also seen in the picture is Sarawak Energy Vice President for Rural Electrification Dr Chen Shiun (seventh from right).