Samoa commissions its first PV plant

Samoa’s prime minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi has inaugurated the country’s first large-scale grid-connected PV plant, according to local news portal Samoanews. The project, which was connected to the grid of local utility Electric Power Corporation (EPC), has a capacity of 546 kW. The government of Japan financed the project through the Pacific Environment Community Fund.
US-based renewable energy project developer SunWize Technologies Inc. agreed to design and install the project in June 2013. The plant spans three separate sites on two Samoan islands – Savai’i and Upolu and consists of three ground-mount arrays and one solar canopy.
»Currently, diesel power plants generate approximately 60 percent of Samoa’s electricity, making the country dependent upon imported fossil fuels,« said Rapa Young, solar project team leader for EPC. »As a result, fluctuating global oil prices have a tremendous effect on electricity tariffs. We believe our investment in this renewable solar energy project will allow us to reduce Samoa’s dependency on fossil fuels and provide its citizens with a more reliable, stable and affordable supply of electricity.«

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