ADB, Government of Tonga and other development partners have announced the beginning of construction on the country’s first off-grid solar power plant
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) joined the Government of Tonga and other development partners to announce the beginning of construction on the country’s first off-grid solar power plant and distribution network for Tonga’s most remote island of Niuatoputapu.
Poasi Mataele Tei, Tonga’s Minister for Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Climate Change, and Communications in his keynote speech said that the government is pleased to help deliver the country’s first off-grid solar plant to 740 people in Niuatoputapu and soon they will enjoy the benefits of reliable, efficient solar-generated electricity.
The off-grid solar power plant is the latest milestone of the Outer Islands Renewable Energy Project, supported by ADB and co-financed by the Government of Australia, the Government of Tonga, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, and the Second Danish Cooperation Fund for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency for Rural Areas.
“ADB remains committed to working with its partners to help support the Government of Tonga achieve its renewable energy generation targets,” said ADB’s senior country coordination officer in Tonga, Tatafu Moeaki.
The new solar mini-grid will provide the 210 homes on the island with prepaid metering to improve access to affordable, clean energy. This first off-grid solar plant follows the completion of on-grid solar plants and network upgrades on the islands of Ha’apai and ‘Eua.
Other benefits of the project include increased consumer access to electricity generated by solar power due to a reduction in cost and increasing reliability and efficiency of power on the supply side in the outer islands. The project is assisting the operations of both on-grid and off-grid systems through the provision of training and knowledge transfer by Tonga Power Limited to the beneficiary communities for 5 years after the commissioning of the mini-grid systems.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion.