23 Feb 2006

Tokelau begins pilot solar power project

4:30 pm on 23 February 2006

Tokelau has just completed the pilot phase of a solar power project on one of Fakaofo's outer atolls.

Tokelau's ongoing government is working with the United Nations Development Programme or UNDP to implement the project.

Now 15 households have access to solar power.

The UNDP's resident representative Joyce Yu says they are hoping the solar project can be launched nationwide to all atolls by the end of the year.

She says the New Zealand government and the French government have also contributed financially.

"The UNDP gave 185,000 dollars and the Tokelau government and the government of New Zealand and the government of France all contributed approximately 80,000 each. The total cost of the project was about 350,000 US dollars."

Joyce Yu says it allows Tokelau to rely less on diesel and is more environmentally friendly.