The BOS Foundation's Orangutan Rehabilitation and Land Rehabilitation Centre in Samboja Lestari, East Kalimantan, now has the ability to meet its electricity needs in a more environmentally friendly way, with a new solar power plant. This facility was built with the help of fundraising by some of our international partner organisations.
After years of relying on electricity generated from fossil fuel generators, the BOS Foundation is finally able to provide electricity in a more environmentally friendly and sustainable way. Two of the six international partner organisations of the BOS Foundation, namely BOS Switzerland and BOS Australia, funded the construction of a solar power plant capable of generating up to 272 kW of renewable energy an hour. This electricity supply is adequate enough to meet the electricity needs of a number of important facilities, such as the clinic, the orangutan complex, and the Samboja Lodge.
Philippe Strub, Deputy Ambassador Switzerland for Indonesia, said; "Indonesia is one of the most populous countries in the world, and is geographically suited to developing renewable energy. Competent design, planning, installation, operation and maintenance of renewable energy power plants, with qualified staff relevant to labour market needs, is what Switzerland is committed to pursuing under its ‘Renewable Energy Skills Development (RESD)’ project. If a new capital is built here in East Kalimantan, then the city should commit to running on 100% renewable energy. This solar panel system is therefore a model for similar projects."
Construction of the new solar power plant facility, named the Tony Gilding Solar Plaza, began on 5 February, 2021. Previously, electricity needs in Samboja Lestari were met through the use of generators powered by fuel. This resulted in high fuel consumption every month, and the BOS Foundation felt the need to take a more environmentally friendly approach to fulfil its electricity needs.
Moritz Wyss, Representative of BOS Switzerland, said they were proud to see the active participation of their organisation in helping the BOS Foundation operate in a greener manner; “We always support initiatives to increase efforts to conserve orangutans and their habitat in a more environmentally friendly way. I am sure that the provision of electricity with sustainable energy sources like this will help the day-to-day operations of this large rehabilitation centre, and the work of our colleagues at Samboja Lestari will be more effective and efficient.”
Dr. Ir. Jamartin Sihite, MSC., Chairman of the BOS Foundation, welcomed the availability of solarpowered electricity; “Due to limitations, we were still using fossil fuels to generate electricity. This of course resulted in emissions, but now we have a better choice. Up until now, we have had to spend Rp. 30-60 million a month to purchase fuel for the generators. The existence of this solar plaza will certainly help reduce our budget, so we can maximize it in other areas and put it toward our operational activities. I hope the team at Samboja Lestari will be able to take advantage of this power plant and improve their performance in conserving orangutans and their habitat.”