With an average ground level of just roughly 1.5 meters (approx. 5ft) above sea level and the highest natural point of 2.4 meters (approx. 8ft), the archipelago nation is one of the most vulnerable countries on the planet to the impact of rising sea levels caused by climate change, and thus has been at the forefront of advocacy for reducing global emissions of CO2. With the installation of the solar power generating systems, the Maldives is able to take concrete action to reduce its own carbon emissions by off-setting use of fossil fuel with clean renewable energy.
The first phase of the project has been completed, with a total of 395kW of solar power having been installed at five locations which will generate an annual 465,227kWh of power and off-set roughly 146 tons of CO2 per year*. A second phase has also been decided upon which will see another 280kW installed at five more locations — making the total project the largest installation of solar power in the country.
The project is using Kyocera’s 210-watt module, with 1,896 installed in the first phase and another 1,344 planned for the second phase. Due to the high occurrence of typhoons on the island, the backsides of the modules have been reinforced with extra support bars for enhanced wind-pressure resistance.
Kyocera has been supplying solar power generating systems to developing countries since 1984 as part of the Japanese government’s ODA project. These systems help to provide power to rural areas with no electricity, for agricultural-use water pumps, medical facilities, and schools in a number of countries in Asia and Africa.
Power output 1st phase: Total of 395kW at five locations
2nd phase: Total of 280kW at five locations
Participating organizations Facility owner: Republic of Maldives
Consulting: Yachiyo Engineering Co., Ltd.; Shikoku Electric Power Co., Inc.
Trading company: Toyota Tsusho Corporation
Equipment supply, engineering, construction: Kyocera Corporation; Wakachiku Construction Co., Ltd.
* Based on calculations derived from standards created by the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association (JPEA)