9 August, 2012
Tokelau takes step toward energy independence
Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully today welcomed the launch of Tokelau’s first solar power system.
It is the first of three systems that, when fully operational, will provide almost 100 per cent of Tokelau’s power.
“Many of our Pacific neighbours are reliant on expensive imported diesel for electricity generation and this is a barrier to developing their economies,” Mr McCully says.
“As a leader in the field of renewable energy we are committed to supporting the roll-out of renewable energy technology in the New Zealand territory of Tokelau and the wider Pacific.
“The Tokelau Renewable Energy Project will see a solar-based mini-grid constructed on each of Tokelau’s three main atolls. The first one on Fakaofo Atoll becoming operational is a major milestone in the project.”
New Zealand company Powersmart is working on the project with IT Power Australia, the Government of Tokelau and the New Zealand Aid programme.
“New Zealand is advancing $7 million to Tokelau to fund installation of the systems. All three solar plants are expected to be operational before the end of the year,” Mr McCully says.