EAST SUMBA, NTT – Passing through the green rolling roads, with magnificent scenery, accompanied by clean blue sky decorated with rolls of brilliant clouds, is a distinctive sight in the hills of Sumba. One of the distinctive features, there is no view of power lines along the hill roads. Because there is clearly no power grid in sight. However, this lack of electricity seems to be partially solved. Lulundilu Village, Mahu Subdistrict, East Sumba Regency, is one such example. The existence of an Energy Kiosk in the village has helped the villagers coming out of the darkness and communication issues.
The Energy Kiosk in Lulundilu Village is the first kiosk established on April 8, 2017, followed by three Energy Kiosks elsewhere. Total kiosks to be established as many as 20 kiosks in Sumba. The construction of these Energy Kiosks is an initiative and collaboration of Hivos and Yayasan Rumah Energi (YRE) supported by Millennium Challenge Account – Indonesia’s grant, under the Sumba Iconic Island (SII) program. The collaborative work is mainly to overcome the lack of electricity in areas not covered by PLN electricity network (off grid) in Sumba. Each kiosk will be equipped with the installation of solar panels, lamps, parabolas and other support equipment, management of village customers, and regular visits from the Renewable Energy Service Company (Resco) team responsible for equipments maintenance.
Solar Panel Installation
The selection of Mr. Yakobus’s home as the Energy Kiosk location in Lulundilu Village, preceded by several surveys from the Winrock International team. Once the agreement is reached and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) is signed, they proceed with a fairly efficient installation, as it can be completed in just one day. The Resco team then installed four solar panels on the roof, followed by installation of DC cable to two charging boards and one charging phone box, joule box installation, followed by the installation of DC lights in each room amounted to 6 lights, ended with the installation of a satellite dish to watch television. Thus, the solar panels in the Energy Kiosks deliver electricity to several devices at once.
Charging board serves as a charging lantern. One charging board has 30 charging holes. Charging each lantern lamp is usually taking a maximum of 4 hours, often depending on the consistent of sunlight every day. If the weather is cloudy or rainy, electricity energy from the solar panel to the charging board is not maximal, so charging a lantern lamp occasionally can take longer than four hours.
Meanwhile, a fully charged lantern lamp can reach a maximum duration of brightness up to 100% bright and will stay that way around 7-8 hours. However, if user want to save light and only use around 20-70% (dim light) of the lamp capacity, then its light can be maintained around 3-4 days.
In just one week after the installation of solar panels at Mr. Yakobus’s Kiosk Energy, as many as 38 lamps were sold out and bought by local villagers who have long waited to light their houses at night. People interested in having a lantern lamp are required to register to become Energy Kiosk members by paying Rp 50,000 up front (only once) membership fee. After that, they will get a lantern lamp.
For villagers who need to recharge the lantern lamp, it will cost only Rp. 2000 per recharging. As for mobile phones it is only cost Rp. 4000 per single charging.
This lantern lamp is warranted as long as villagers join the program and registered as Energy Kiosk members. If a lamp is damaged, it will be replaced by Resco. The warranty period for the school is 300 times recharging. If the lamp is broken before 300 times recharging, it will be repaired. Factory defects will also be repaired.
The lantern lamps are manufactured in Indonesia, made by PT Sundaya in Bogor, West Java. The local product is chosen due to its proven durability quality.
Resco Team Duty
The Resco team consists of six technicians and a manager. Headquartered in Hivos Office in Waingapu, East Sumba, and Waikabubak, West Sumba. This team is responsible for surveying, installation, and post-installation maintenance. The routine post-installation task is:
- Checking and maintenance of solar panels
- Schedule a regular visit to Energy Kiosk
- Customer service, Resco has a special number to accommodate customer complaints.