Controversy over windmill project

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Department of Energy assistant director Deepak Chand. Picture: SUPPLIED

Controversy has erupted over a $US55 million ($F122m) Power Purchase Agreement signed between the Ministry of Fisheries and Forestry and American company Infinite Power Clean Energy Fiji (IPC) this week with the Department of Energy now launching an investigation into the deal.

The two parties signed a deal last week that they say will allow IPC to manufacture and install 27 “ultra-modern” wind turbines totaling 19.75 Megawatts in the 27 locations around Fiji and Rotuma.

The Department of Energy, as the authority over renewable energy initiatives in Fiji, is in the dark over the PPA.

“Fiji doesn’t have favourable wind speeds and we haven’t even tested those technologies, we haven’t even seen it,” Department of Energy assistant director Deepak Chand told The Fiji Times.

“And before even signing on any technology, we need to see it with our own eyes, to prove that it is working. Nothing as such has happened and we are really concerned,” Mr Chand said.

An investigation has been launched by the department.

“We are not taking any responsibility because the major government agencies are not involved,” Mr Chand said. “I’ve asked my staff to start doing something in this regard to see what this signing is all about.”

Yesterday, IPC also signed a PPA with the Fiji Sports Council to supply power to its 14 sporting facilities around the country.

  • Comments are being sought from the Ministry of Fisheries and Forestry and the Fiji Sports Council.