All Round View(Peshawar): In Maldives, the State Electric Company (STELCO) introduced an invention, designed specifically for the Maldivian environment, to harness solar energy. In a ceremony, the STELCO Green Life Solar Pod was unveiled by the company’s Chairman Mohamed Rasheed. The Solar Pod, which floats on the ocean, follows a similar concept to the floating solar systems used in lakes and rivers in other countries.
However, since these systems are not well-suited to Maldives’s salty oceans, STELCO’s Research and Development Unit redesigned a system compatible for the island nation. Noting that this invention will aid in solving space constraints and environmental challenges, STELCO’s Managing Director Hassan Mughnee described the solar pod as the most notable feat achieved in the company’s history.
“The solar pod is designed to harness a large amount of solar energy by easily assembling many pods together in a spacious lagoon”, he said. “Although the standard size of these pods is 8-panel and 16-panel systems, this invention will be available in other sizes, depending on the demand”. He added that the systems will greatly cut down STELCO’s expenses on oil. The company has been urging the public to put up solar panels in residences in order to cut down oil expenses as well.
The Company emerged from modest beginnings in 1949 with an installed capacity of only 14 kW and providing electricity to just the residences in Male’. Over the past five decades, the Company operated as a Government Department under different names such as “Department of Electricity” and “Maldives Electricity Board”. In 1997, “State Electric Company” STELCO, was formed. Initially, the number of customers were around 50 houses in Male’. Today the total number of customers has increased to 37,660 in Male’ and 14,462 customers in different islands (as of June 2016).
STELCO is equipped with the most modern and efficient diesel power generation plants in Male’. In 1949 STELCO started providing electricity with just one 14kW generator set. Since then, the generation capacity has been increased to match with the growing demand through various projects. The most recent project was the Fourth Power Development Project under which, 16MW of generation capacity was added to the Male’ power grid. This project was the largest power project conducted in the Maldives and cost 28 million EUROS. STELCO will provide assistance in assembling the pods and connecting them to the electrical system for all customers who purchase them. The pods, which come with a warranty period of 25 years, are now available for purchase from STELCO.
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