New Zealand High Commission Nuku'alofa, Tonga

Solar generation facility leading light for Tonga

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully and Tonga’s Prime Minister Lord Tu’ivakano have attended the opening of Tonga’s first solar power farm, officially opened by His Majesty King Tupou VI.
 

Hon Murray McCully
Minister of Foreign Affairs
 

24 July 2012 Media Statement

Solar generation facility leading light for Tonga

 

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully and Tonga’s Prime Minister Lord Tu’ivakano have attended the opening of Tonga’s first solar power farm, officially opened by His Majesty King Tupou VI.
The Maama Mai (“let there be light”) solar generation facility is the result of a collaborative effort between the New Zealand and Tongan governments, Tonga Power Limited and Meridian Energy.
Through the Tonga Energy Road Map developed in 2010, Tonga has shown a solid commitment to reducing its reliance on diesel, setting itself an ambitious target of 50 per cent of its energy to come from renewable sources. The Maama Mai solar generation facility brings Tonga one step closer to achieving its objectives.
“Most Pacific countries have long been dependent on imported fossil fuels to meet their energy needs, making them vulnerable to international price fluctuations and rising fuel costs,” Mr McCully says.
“New Zealand’s investment in the Maama Mai facility recognises the enormous potential of solar power in the Pacific to deliver cheaper, renewable energy and support sustainable economic development in the region.
“Pacific countries are now prioritising renewable sources of energy to achieve their development goals, and New Zealand is also supporting the development of renewable generation in Tokelau and the Cook Islands.
“The New Zealand government is very pleased to have entered into this partnership, we now look forward to it delivering real benefits for the people of Tonga,” Mr McCully says.

From early August 2012 the solar farm will provide approximately one megawatt of electricity per year, reduce Tonga’s annual diesel consumption by approximately 470,000 litres, and decrease annual carbon dioxide emissions by over 2000 tonnes.
The New Zealand government contributed $7.9 million to the solar project.
Media contact: Stephanie McKay ph 021 241 0027
The Minister’s speeches and statements can be found at www.beehive.govt.nz

 

 

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