Pacific’s largest solar power plant planned for Samoa

A number of international organizations are to support the construction of the Pacific’s largest solar energy array in Samoa, New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced Wednesday.

The project would include a 2.2-megawatt photovoltaic array in Apia, providing the highest electrical output from a single installation in the Pacific, McCully, who is visiting Samoa, said in a statement.

“New Zealand is working in partnership with the government of Samoa, the European Union and the Asia Development Bank to increase the generation of renewable energy in Samoa,” McCully said.

The project was commissioned as part of the European Union-New Zealand Energy Access Partnership, launched at the Pacific Energy Summit in March last year.

McCully and EU Commissioner Andris Piebalgs left Wednesday on a tour of four Pacific island countries Samoa, Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Cook Islands to assess progress on renewable energy projects.

The Pacific Energy Summit aimed to move Pacific nations closer to achieving 50 percent of their electricity from renewable means and 635 million NZ dollars (546 million U.S. dollars) was secured for Pacific energy projects.