SunWize Technologies Inc. has completed the installation of a 546 kW solar electric system for the Independent State of Samoa's power utility, Electric Power Corp.
The photovoltaic system, financed by Japan through the Pacific Environment Community Fund, spans three separate sites on the two Samoan islands of Savaii and Upolu.
The communities of Salelologa on Savaii and Tanugamanono on Upolu host the ground-mount installations. A third site at Vaitele, Upolu, supports an additional ground-mount installation and a solar canopy for equipment storage.
The project is SunWize's third PV project in the region, having successfully installed a 1.8 MW system at the airport in nearby American Samoa in 2012 and a smaller system at the VA Hospital in Pago Pago.
PV installations in tropical maritime environments have challenging engineering constraints.
‘Our previous projects in American Samoa and Pago Pago required a solar electric system that could withstand 124-mile per hour typhoon force winds and corrosive ocean air,’ says David Kaltsas, SunWize's president and chief operating officer. ‘We applied similar design and engineering principals to the ground-mount systems and the solar canopy, while also ensuring seamless alignment with the existing electric grid.’