ADB supports Pacific solar projects

The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Pacific Update 2013 report has given details of 7.7 MW of solar projects across five Pacific island nations.

The largest portion of the proposed photovoltaic schemes is in the Cook Islands where, in addition to providing solar street lights as part of a US$420,000 energy efficiency scheme, the ADB is supporting a technical and feasibility study for a 6 MW solar system.

The proposed project would generate an estimated 8.6 GWh per year and give Cook Islands utility staff expertise in integrating solar and other renewables into the grid.

The bank is also supporting an outer isalnd renewable energy project in Tonga which will see grid connected solar arrays totalling 1.25 MWp installed across nine of the nation’s outer islands. The project will also support the installation of 100 home solar systems in Tonga, each with a 200 W capacity.

In Yap state, in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), an $11.2 million renewables project will finance the installation of 300 kW of solar – as well as 1.4 MW of wind – to provide 22 per cent of Yap’s power. A separate $500,000 capacity building and technical assistance program is intended to help utilities in the FSM be more attractive to renewables investors.

In Vanuatu, the ADB is supporting the installation of 40 kW of solar pilot projects on public buildings in Luganville on the island of Espiritu Santo and in Samoa, part of a $1.85 million technical assistance project will establish a clean energy fund and initial renewable project pipeline.