New Constructed Solar facility for Tongatapu

A new one megawatt solar facility commissioned by His Majesty King Tupou VI this week was aimed at providing cheaper electricity in the main island of Tongatapu.

His Majesty King Tupou VI named the USD$15 million (TOP$26.9 million) project funded by the Government of Japan as Mata-‘O e-Laʻā or Face of the Sun.

Tonga Power Ltd  contributed $1 million paʻanga for the provision of land and project support.

“The project included the micro-grid control system at $9.3 million, photovoltaic panels at $10.24 million, $7.2 million for installation and $547, 000 was allocated for staff training. Overall, the solar facility was built at a cost of about $28 million pa’anga”, a statement from Tonga Power said.

“Carl Sanft, the Chairman of the Tonga Power Ltd Board, said that without renewable generation projects, the electricity tariff will be much higher. The solar facility could generate up to 1.3 GWH per annum of electricity reducing diesel usage by 327,000 litres annually, saving $563,000 pa’anga per year in fuel costs”.

After the unveiling of the plaque, HM King Tupou VI, HE. Yukio Numata, Hon. Poasi Tei, Carl Sanft.

Power Generation Manager of Tonga Power Ltd, Mr Michael Lani ‘Ahokava hosted the ceremony.
“This project started with a vision by the Governments committee, the Tonga Energy Road Map (TERM) almost three years ago to reduce Tonga’s vulnerability to oil price shocks. A vision that would open up doors for renewable developments in Tonga to drive down electricity prices through a reduced reliance on diesel”, stated the Minister for Public Enterprises.

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