26 May 2016

Samoa's solar panels will save on diesel costs

7:56 am on 26 May 2016

The Samoa Government's target to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2017 moved one step closer with the opening of a 2.1 mega watt solar plant.

Talamua online reports the solar plant is located in the middle of the Faleata Racecourse and the electricity it will produce will save 1,900,000 litres of diesel on average each year, and reduce approximately 5,115 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Owned by Solar for Samoa, the 2.1 mega watt solar plant will offset a substantial portion of Samoa's existing diesel-generated electricity, which currently accounts for nearly two-thirds of the country's energy mix.

The project is the first stage of Solar for Samoa's total 5.2 mega watt solar photovoltaic project, scheduled to come online in July.

The government launched the Faleata project in 2014 with the help of the European Union and New Zealand.

The project began with a 2.2 Megawatt photovoltaic array, and alongside two smaller arrays which delivered 4.5 percent of Samoa's energy needs with 10,000 solar panels.

The government says it is trying to bring down the cost of electricity but also contribute to a cleaner environment.