The new product known as ReadyPay Power System which was first launched on Nov.18 in the northern town of Lira is available on a Pay As You Go basis using MTN Mobile Money and works like a phone top-up to enable the user make affordable and flexible payments according to their budget.
“The amount one pays determines how long one can access the power. For example, on the most affordable kit, a payment of Ush1,000 will provide power for a day, whilst a larger payment of Ush30,000 will provide power for a month”, the MTN Chief Marketing Officer Ernst Fonternel, said before adding that the product is set to be rolled out nationwide early next year.
Reyes said he’s been exploring solar options, including the possibility of leasing federal lands to build a new array. The Bureau of Land Management has identified small areas of public lands in the Ojo Caliente/Carson area that could be potential project sites. Reyes said the location could be ideal because it’s near a substation and would help spread solar generation across the co-op’s service area.
The co-op, however, has been at odds with Tri-State for more than a year over a proposed rate increase and rate design change. The dispute has morphed into a massive regulatory and legal battle, and it’s unlikely that Tri-State will be interested in cutting the co-op much slack on any issue.
The co-op’s solar blitz a few years ago was funded in part with $5 million in low-interest federal loans and the promise of multiplied renewable energy credits. Reyes says such loans used to be few and far between, and the bonus credits were necessary to help defray up front costs.
“It’s easy to set-up; no technician is needed, and comes with an 18 month warranty. This is all thanks to MTN Mobile Money which means customers can make small, affordable payments until they own the system,” he said.