Vaini to have new solar plant

A solar plant funded by the Japanese Government will be installed at the village of Vaini early next year.

The sign up of the contracts for the project was made in Tokyo on November 20.

On paper, Tonga Power says, the Japanese Government through the Japanese International Cooperation Association (JICA) agreed to provide full grant funding for the Vaini solar project in Tongatapu.

The contract for design, procurement of materials and construction was signed by the successful tenderers NBK Corporation, Fuji Electric Company Ltd and Tonga Power Limited on 20th November 2013

The evaluation meetings with the successful bidder were attended by Tonga Power‟s Generation Manager Michael Lani „Ahokava and the Finance Manager, Steven „Esau to evaluate bids and clarify the details of the project and sign the contract for delivery of the solar plant.

The solar project will provide approximately 3% of Tonga Power‟s electricity needs and will also help manage the efficient operation of the existing diesel generators at Popua. This is almost the same as the Maama Mai solar facility commissioned in July 2012, which over the last year saved 540, 000 litres of diesel per year.

This project is also expected to reduce dependency on diesel power generation for the country’s power supply and alleviates the risk of inflation of electricity charges.

Tonga Power CEO, John van Brink said, “We have full confidence in NBK-Fuji providing a world class generation facility, they have significant experience in developing similar systems in other small island grids and have a clear understanding of our needs.

The generous support of the Government of Japan is greatly appreciated.”

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