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Tuvalu Government goes solar

Infratec and SolarCity have completed the installation of a 170kW solar array on two government buildings in Funafuti, the capital of the tiny Pacific nation of Tuvalu.

The 648 solar panels will deliver 5% of the island’s electricity requirements reducing diesel imports by 62,000 litres every year and saving the nation over $2 million across the lifetime of the system.

“Diesel generators are the main source of electricity generation for Tuvalu which leaves them vulnerable to global fuel price changes and often means they pay four times more for power than New Zealand,“ says SolarCity operations director Peter Apperley.

“We're proud to support Tuvalu to reduce its reliance on diesel and move towards its goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2020.”

“The success of this project was largely in part due to the excellent standard of work from our project partner SolarCity and the support of the Tuvalu and New Zealand governments,” says Infratec's project manager Micah Sherman.

The $780k New Zealand Aid funded project is part of a wider renewable energy programme across the Pacific supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).