Conergy supplies mounting systems for solar park in Southern Pacific State24. July 2012 | By: Conergy
Tonga's King Tupou VI opens the country's largest park of 1.3 megawatts on 24 July 2012.
Conergy Australia is supplying the mounting systems for the country's first and largest grid-connected solar park, with a total capacity of 1.3 megawatts, in the Southern Pacific kingdom of Tonga. The archipelago which forms part of Polynesia and is made up of 169 islands, 36 of which are inhabited, is currently totally dependent on diesel generators for its electricity supply. This involves high import costs for the kingdom. The new solar power plant at the Popua Power Station, south-east of the island capital of Nuku’alofa on Tongatapu, is intended to remedy this situation. The Government of Tonga is placing emphasis on renewable energy sources and has set ambitious targets with its "Energy Roadmap 2010-20". By the end of 2012, this island state in the South Pacific intends to extract half of its power from renewable sources.
"The Popua solar energy plant is supplying as much as 4% of Tongatapu's energy requirements", says Conergy Australia Managing Director Rodger Meads. "That also means that the island nation saves the cost of 470,000 litres of expensive diesel fuel and avoids emitting 2,000 tonnes of CO2 each year. The benefits of the project are, therefore, twofold: it spares the environment and has a positive effect on energy costs. That is why we are pleased to be able to contribute to this unique project."
The power plant's project developer is Meridian Energy from New Zealand. The solar company Reid Technology, also from New Zealand, is responsible for the implementation. Reid Technology and Conergy have been collaborating since 2007. The two partners are now successfully continuing their cooperation with the supply of the 1.3 MW Conergy SolarGiant mounting system for the Tongan project. The funding has been supplied by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade Aid Programme. The operator is the Tongan energy supplier, Popua Power. In the future, the power plant will supply approximately 1,880 megawatt hours annually of clean solar power for the population of Tongatapu.
The ceremonial inauguration of the Tongan lighthouse project is planned for 24 July 2012. His Majesty King Tupou VI is expected at this event and will press the red button to start the new, emission-free power plant.