Masdar powers up solar PV plants on Vanuatu island

Abu Dhabi’s Masdar has completed its sixth project in the Pacific islands under a US$50 million initiative.

The three solar photovoltaic (PV) plants, totalling 767 kilowatts, were developed in the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu.

The project forms part of the UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund (UAE-PPF).

Only 27 per cent of Vanuatu’s most populated island, Port Villa, has access to electricity. The island already generated some renewable energy from solar PV, wind and hydropower, but most of the power comes from diesel generators – which means a high import bill for an island without the natural resource.

The latest solar PV additions include 644 kWh ground-mounted and car park structures at the parliament building as well as a 123 kWh ground-mounted structure at the meteorology department building. Masdar’s installations will help save the island $378,000 on its diesel bill alone, based on last year’s ­prices.

“By helping to alleviate their energy burden, we are enabling these Pacific nations to allocate more of their resources to accelerating economic growth and maximising the potential of their inhabitants,” said Mohammed Al Ramahi, the acting chief executive of Masdar.

The UAE-PPF initiative fin­ances renewable energy projects across the Pacific with grants from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and projects delivered by Masdar in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The programme has delivered more than 2.8 megawatts of renewable energy capacity, helping to replace 1.5 million litres of imported diesel fuel.

The combined output of the projects has saved US$2 million per year and also eliminated 4,157 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually, Masdar said.

“The continued success of the UAE-PPF is tangible evidence of Masdar’s ability to develop workable renewables solutions and deploy them in the service of the UAE’s bilateral partnerships with countries around the world,” said Mr Al Ramahi.

“We have already helped to make a real difference in the six countries we are currently partnering and we believe this partnership fund could provide a model for similar agreements around the world.”

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