Nine More Telang Usan Longhouses Connected to Renewable 24-Hour Power Supply under SARES

19 AUGUST 2020

Nine more longhouses comprising 451 households in Telang Usan now enjoy access to reliable 24-hour renewable electricity supply via the Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (SARES) which targets remote villages located at a distance from transmission and distribution infrastructure.

For the Miri Division overall, SARES will have benefited 39 villages in Telang Usan, 11 villages in Beluru and 26 villages in Marudi by 2020, lighting up 3,805 households of about 34,657 residents with 24-hour reliable and renewable electricity supply.

A ceremony was held yesterday at Long Anyat to officially hand over the solar systems from project implementor Sarawak Energy to the nine beneficiary longhouses of Long Anyat, Long Sinung, Long Beku, Long Lilim, Long Daloh, Long Keluan, Long Selatong (Tanjung Tepalit), Long Selatong Dikan and Long Anap.

Minister of Utilities, Dato Sri Dr. Stephen Rundi officiated the event. Also present were Assistant Minister of Utilities (Rural Electricity) Datuk Liwan Lagang, State assemblyman for Telang Usan, YB Dennis Ngau, political secretary to the chief minister, Charles Balang Seling, Telang Usan District Officer, Baru Tai, chairman of LAKU Management Sdn Bhd, Datuk Nelson Balang Rining and Sarawak Energy was represented by Dr. Chen Shiun, Vice President for Rural Electrification.

“Under the Rural Electrification Master Plan, RM2.37 billion was allocated for 2019/2020 to accelerate rural electrification as envisioned by our YAB Chief Minister allowing us to move forward in our drive to achieve full electrification of Sarawak by 2025. Electricity coverage for our rural population went up to 93% in 2019 through various initiatives including the SARES programme that kicked off in 2016,“ said Rundi, speaking at the event.

Rundi congratulated the residents of the longhouses and urged the Village Development and Security Committees (JKKK) and local community leaders to take good care of their newly installed SARES systems. The handover ceremony also signified the successful completion of local community training to perform simple operation and maintenance work, with Sarawak Energy providing technical support free of charge under government funding.

“With SARES, each household is provided with 3000Wh of renewable electricity daily, catering for a typical rural household’s basic needs that include lighting, fans, a television, a small freezer and rice cooker. The system brings much needed convenience to the households and allows cold storage of fish and game meat, and minimises the need for frequent travel to town for supplies. Please take care of this precious gift from the government,” he said.

SARES utilises renewable off-grid solutions to supply electricity to villages that are too distant to be connected to the main electricity grid. It is one of several initiatives under the Rural Electrification Masterplan, driven and funded by the Sarawak Government through the Ministry of Utilities with Sarawak Energy as its implementation agent.

Rundi added when commenting on the initiative, " The innovative nature of SARES and the involvement of the communities means that SARES is proving to be a sustainable solution to light up our most remote communities in Sarawak’s hinterland.

“As a crucial factor for long term sustainability and success of this scheme, Sarawak Energy’s SARES team trains the beneficiary communities on how to operate and maintain the system and continues to provide technical support after the projects are completed and implemented. Thank you to these nine Telang Usan villages for their cooperation and support,” he said.

A group photo with the community leaders from the nine longhouses powered by SARES holding up the certificates of the handover with the Minister for Utilities Sarawak Dato Sri Dr. Stephen Rundi Utom (centre), Assistant Minister for Rural Electricity Supply Sarawak, Datuk Liwan Lagang (centre), State assemblyman for Telang Usan, YB Dennis Ngau (4th right), Sarawak Energy Vice President for Rural Electrification Dr Chen Shiun (3rd right) and others.

Dr. Chen Shiun, Sarawak Energy Vice President for Rural Electrification (6th left) symbolically hands over the solar power system to village headman Johnny Belung Jau (5th left) of Long Anyat in the presence of Minister of Utilities, Dato Sri Dr. Stephen Rundi (Centre), Assistant Minister for Rural Electricity Supply Sarawak, Datuk Liwan Lagang (5th left), State assemblyman for Telang Usan, YB Dennis Ngau (7th left), community leaders and the nine village headmen with their certificates of ownership.