Tonga's first wind turbine goes live

The Nakolo Wind Turbine, the first of its kind in Tonga, was officially commissioned in a livening ceremony at Nakolo village on Friday, June 14th 2013.

The event marked the completion of the construction of the 11kW wind turbine. The project was made possible with funding from Tonga Power and the collective wind expertise from Gaia Wind, Craig Jones and Jim Cairns who came from Scotland and England.

Tonga currently generates electricity from costly imported diesel fuel. As the country‟s second renewable project now operational, the Nakolo wind turbine project is another step towards the Tongan Government‟s renewable energy targets. This project has developed skills that can be used to build further renewable energy facilities in the island.

The Wind Turbine Project Manager Setitaia Chen said, “Craig Jones and Jim Cairns who provided engineering support, acknowledged that this was the smoothest installation they have been involved in and they noted the professionalism and competence of the Project team that was shown during installation.”

He said this also achieved one of the goals of the project to build capacity to learn, be exposed to a new experience and maintain a new technology.

“Today marks a milestone for Tonga Power in the development of wind generation in the Kingdom. The only way to go now is forward with the wind”.

The construction on the project started in April 2013 and finished on-time and under-budget. The 11 kW Nakolo Wind Turbine began harnessing the energy from wind and produced electricity over the last month since its completed installation in May. The wind turbine will generate approximately 27, 000 kW hrs of electricity, enough to generate power to 23 homes.

Tonga Power is currently waiting for a proposal from Gaia Wind to secure low interest funding through the UK government to install another 4 turbines in Tonga.

Attending the event was Prime Minister Lord Tu‟ivakano, Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Samiu Vaipulu, Minister for Public Enterprises Hon. Fe‟aomoeata Vakata, estate holder Lord Luani, TERM CEO „Inoke Vala, Carl Saft chairman of the Tonga Power Board of Directors,Tonga Power Ltd CEO John van Brink and guests.

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