NZMATES has been offering opportunities for training, mentoring, technical exchange programmes, and interaction between Maluku educational institutions and NZ renewable energy specialists, in order to enhance local public and private sector RE capacity. NZMATES’ focus on supporting and developing the capacity of local stakeholders is intended to ensure the programme’s outcomes outlive the five-year implementation period.

Our capacity-building activities have focused on two main types of support:

  • Direct training and mentoring on renewable energy with PLN and Dinas ESDM; and
  • Supporting education providers in Maluku to deliver renewable energy training programmes.

Direct Training and Mentoring

Training workshop on good practices for solar mini-grids held in Ambon in May 2019.

Training workshop on good practices for solar mini-grids held in Ambon in May 2019.

NZMATES conducted a training needs assessment with PLN MMU and Dinas ESDM Maluku in late 2018 and early 2019, and this together with interactions through working groups and joint activities helped NZMATES to get an understanding of priorities for training workshops. The first workshop for PLN and Dinas ESDM was held in May 2019 on good practices for solar PV mini-grids, with a focus on battery technologies. Then, NZMATES conducted a more in-depth follow-up training on sustainability of solar mini-grids in November 2019. This training covered Design, Assessment, and Operation of solar PV and was targeted at a smaller group of key partner staff, in order to have a more participatory forum to discuss real-life examples and experiences from the field in Maluku. These workshops were delivered by NZMATES Programme Manager Mauricio Solano Peralta with Infratec Engineer and Energy Storage Specialist Dr. Andrew Crossland.

NZMATES has also held broader training and awareness-raising events, including guest lectures and key-note speeches at Universities and Conferences, and a workshop on Solar Mini-Grids: Good Practices and Experiences from Maluku, held at the IndoEBTKE ConEx Conference in Jakarta in November 2019.

NZMATES workshop sharing lessons learned from Maluku, held at IndoEBTKE ConEx in Jakarta in November 2019.

In addition to one-off training events, the NZMATES team has run regular mentoring sessions for a core group of PLN MMU staff, covering assessment, design and financial analysis tools for renewable energy planning. This has been done as part of the process of assessing broken solar mini-grids and developing refurbishment roadmaps. Providing mentoring to ensure PLN staff have a good understanding of the processes and methodologies used, means that they can be closely involved in decision-making, and have a better chance of being able to apply similar techniques in the future.

Support to educational partners

NZMATES has also been working closely with Pattimura University and Ambon State Polytechnic to support their abilities to deliver renewable energy training and education.

Pattimura University

NZMATES signed an MoU with Pattimura University in May 2019 and began to develop plans for developing a solar PV training centre. There are currently no functioning solar PV installations near Ambon where most engineering students working in Maluku are trained, and during the needs assessment phase, the University identified a lack of physical infrastructure as a key challenge.

Pattimura University and NZMATES worked together to develop a proposal for installing a solar PV training laboratory, complete with a small off-grid PV array and training equipment. The University has chosen a site and classroom for the lab and has carried out necessary renovations. The tendering process is currently underway and it is hoped that installation can take place in 2020.

As part of the preparation for the training centre, NZMATES and Pattimura University co-organised a three-day training on Introduction to Solar PV for students of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering department as well as University laboratory staff. The training was held in November 2019, and was co-delivered by Dr. Andrew Crossland and Pattimura University Lecturer, Antoni Simanjuntak. Training materials will serve as model for future trainings to be delivered as part of the curriculum to support the solar laboratory installation.

UnPatti lecturer Ir. Antoni Simanjuntak shows students how to conduct earthing tests for solar PV as part of a collaborative workshop held in November 2019.

Ambon State Polytechnic

In July 2019 NZMATES also delivered a short pilot training on solar PV at Ambon State Polytechnic, with whom an MoU was signed in September 2019.  A follow-up 3-day introductory solar PV training was to be delivered in collaboration with the Polytechnic in March 2020, but was postponed and held virtually instead in October - November 2020 due to the COVID-19 situation.

Given that the Polytechnic already has a state-of-the-art set of renewable energy teaching equipment, covering solar PV, hydro and wind energy, NZMATES’ support will focus on  strengthening the capacities of teaching staff along with course curricula and training materials to make better use of the equipment available to provide more in-depth learning on renewable energy, and in particular solar PV, to students.

Students of Ambon State Polytechnic learning about solar panel wiring with NZMATES Engineer Keith Scoles. 

Students of Ambon State Polytechnic participating in the online workshop