1 Sep 2014

Pacific's largest solar array opens

8:01 pm on 1 September 2014

The largest solar array in the South Pacific has been officially opened in the middle of a racecourse in Apia.

The Faleata racecourse project includes a 2.2 Megawatt photovoltaic array, and alongside two smaller arrays will deliver 4.5 percent of Samoa's energy needs renewably.

The 10,000 panel solar energy project is funded by New Zealand, the European Union, and Samoa.

The country is turning to solar, wind and hydro energy as a way to cut back on its heavy reliance on diesel fuel.

The European Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, says this is just one of many renewable energy partnerships it has with New Zealand in the Pacific.

"We have a New Zealand Energy Summit and are focussing our aid on renewable energy. It is a lot of projects implemented, not only in Samoa but also in Tonga, Cook Islands and a lot of small islands."

Andris Piebalgs says it is possible that nearly all Pacific islands could rely on completely renewable energy.