2 Nov 2009

Japan-funded solar project expected to ease Marshalls' diesel reliance

10:46 am on 2 November 2009

A solar panel project funded by Japan is expected to lessen the Marshall Islands' reliance on diesel-fueled power.

The project is part of a 20 million US dollar grant from a climate change mitigation programme that will also benefit the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and Tonga.

Our correspondent in Majuro, Giff Johnson, says the Marshalls' slice of the grant is about four million dollars, which will provide panels for the roof of the atoll's hospital.

"This is an innovative project in that it's not your standard stand-alone solar panels and batteries and so on. It's solar panels linked to the grid system actually providing additional power for Majuro residents as well as some spin-off power for the hospital itself."

Giff Johnson says construction is expected to begin in 2011.