23 Jan 2017

Marshalls secures funding for major solar energy project

5:44 am on 23 January 2017

The Marshall Islands looks set to cut its dependence on diesel following the approval of funding for a major solar energy project.

Ebeye looking north

Ebeye looking north Photo: Anjojo Kabua

The International Renewable Energy Agency and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development have approved an $US11 million soft loan for a hybrid energy system.

It will cut reliance on diesel on the island of Ebeye by 40 percent, while three outer islands that were totally dependent on diesel will become 98 percent solar powered.

Marshall Islands Correspondent Giff Johnson said the World Bank had also shown an interest in the project which would help the country achieve its alternative energy targets.

"There's a big push here for these solar to grid programs. These are important in reducing the amount of diesel and the cost to operate the utility operation," he said.

"The total cost of the project is estimated to be at least $US22 million," he said.