The United Arab Emirates has funded the construction of a solar farm in Vava'u in Tonga’s northern island.
The new Solar Farm is a 500 KWH ground-mounted photovoltaic panels and battery storage technology that is fully integrated with the island’s diesel power station.
It will produce enough energy to cover about 13% of Vava’u’s annual electricity demand and up to 70% of the grid demand during peak hours. The solar farm is equipped with batteries, switch gear and energy saver.
In his keynote address, the Honourable Prime Minister Lord Tu’ivakano stated that, “The solar farm funded by the UAE is the first of its kind that the UAE has provided for any country in the Pacific. This gift is a symbol of the closeness of the Royal Families of both countries and their people – this project will not only serve to benefit the people of Vava’u economically and socially but it will strengthen Tonga’s bilateral relations with the Government and the people of the UAE.”
His Majesty’s Government through the Tonga Energy Road Map (TERM) has been working hard to meet the target to reduce by 50% the Kingdom’s power demand generated from renewable sources by the year 2020.
Since 2010, the Government has put more effort into giving the people of Tonga a more affordable and clean energy, using the latest concept of solar farm technology.
To this end, Tonga’s TERM has worked together with Abu Dhabi based renewable energy company Masdar to develop the solar farm for Vava’u through a grant provided by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.
This project addressed the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) goals, to provide universal access, renewable energy and energy efficiency for the villages.
The Prime Minister thanked the Government and people of the United Arabs Emirates for their generosity and love for the people of Tonga. The success of the project is due to the good planning, commitment and effective partnership of Tonga and its development partners.
The Official hand-over ceremony of the United Arabs Emirates (UAE) funded solar farm to the people of Vava’u took place in Neiafu, with HRH The Crown Prince Tupouto’a-‘Ulukalala honoring the event, attended by the Prime Minister, the Governor and people of Vava’u.