5 November, 2012
Tokelau reaches solar power goal
Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully today welcomed the completion of a third New Zealand-funded solar power system in Tokelau – meaning almost 100 per cent of the territory’s electricity needs are met through solar generation.
“The Tokelau Renewable Energy Project is a world first. Tokelau’s three main atolls now have enough solar capacity, on average, to meet electricity needs,” Mr McCully says.
The $8.5 million solar power project involved constructing solar-based mini grids on three atolls.
“Until now, Tokelau has been 100 per cent dependent upon diesel for electricity generation, with heavy economic and environmental costs,” Mr McCully says.
“New Zealand is very pleased to be able to support Tokelau in reaching its renewable energy goals through an advance of $7 million in New Zealand’s aid allocation to the territory.
“Completed on time and on budget, the project is an excellent example of how small Pacific nations can lead the way on renewable energy development.
“Building on the success of clean and affordable energy solutions for Tokelau, Tonga, and the Cook Islands, New Zealand will co-host a Pacific energy summit in March next year.”