Batch-2 Training for Operators in the Operation and Maintenance of Solar PV Installations in Maluku Province

New Zealand Maluku Access to Renewable Energy Support (NZMATES) conducted another training session on the operation and maintenance of Solar Power Systems from 4-6 June 2024, following a similar session previously held in Buru District. This second batch of training included prospective solar PV operators from health centres in Ambon City, Central Maluku District, West Seram District, and East Seram District. This advanced training will be delivered in three batches, each grouped by the proximity of locations and the availability of practical training sites in the district or city capitals.

Over three days, participants learned about solar PV operation and maintenance in the classroom, at the Pūngao Pattimura Unpatti Mini Grid Laboratory, and through practical sessions at the Latuhalat Health Centre solar installation. The training was delivered by Antoni Simanjuntak, a lecturer from the Faculty of Engineering at Unpatti, and NZMATES programme staff. The participants were enthusiastic and engaged with the material, frequently asking questions to clarify their understanding. They often discussed issues they had encountered with the solar installations at their own health centres, leading to interesting discussions between the trainees and trainers.

The training aimed to equip participants with basic knowledge of PLTS operation and maintenance, enabling them to address system issues independently and consult with trainers for more complex problems.

During the training opening, NZMATES Programme Manager Safitri Yanti Baharuddin addressed the training participants: "These practical sessions are expected to make maintenance easier for you. Minor issues can be handled directly, and for more complex problems, you can coordinate with the trainers."

Representing the Head of the Maluku Provincial Health Office, R. S. Waliulu, Head of Primary Health Services (Yankes), expressed gratitude for this important training. She noted that there had been no training of this kind over the past ten years, neither funded by national or local budgets, and highly appreciated the NZMATES programme for supporting the Maluku Provincial Health Office in training health centre solar PV operators. This training is expected to enhance primary health services, which are crucial for improving public health.

"In aiming to create healthy districts, it is vital that the community has access to quality health services," said R. S. Waliulu.

Dr. Marisa Lasamahu, Head of Latuhalat Health Centre, expressed her satisfaction that Latuhalat was chosen as the practical training site. She hoped that the knowledge transfer to the operators would enable them to address any issues, as the solar installation had previously experienced problems leading to power outages.

"We hope our solar PV system can be checked for any issues, so its operation can be more effective during power outages," said Marisa while welcoming the training participants to Latuhalat Health Centre.

Lukman Tehuayo, one of the training participants, stated that this training is highly beneficial both for himself personally and for the sustainability of the solar power plant at his workplace.

"This is new knowledge for me on how to operate and maintain the solar power plant at the Tehua health centre, especially since my background is in nursing and not a technical profession," said Lukman.