SunWize Technologies Inc. has reported it is designing and installing a solar power system for the Independent State of Samoa. The 546 kW project with the Pacific island nation's Electric Power Corp. (EPC) is expected to generate 700 MWh annually.
‘Currently, diesel power plants generate approximately 60% of Samoa's electricity, making the country dependent upon imported fossil fuels,’ says Rapa J. Young, solar project team leader for EPC. ‘As a result, fluctuating global oil prices have a tremendous effect on electricity tariffs. We believe our investment in this renewable solar energy project will allow us to reduce Samoa's dependency on fossil fuels and provide its citizens with a more reliable, stable and affordable supply of electricity.’
According to SunWize, the project will span three sites on two Samoan islands – Savai'i and Upolu. The communities of Salelologa, Savai'i, and Tanugamanono, Upolu, will be home to two ground-mount installations, while the Vaitele, Upolu, site will contain both a ground-mount array and a solar canopy building that will also be used for EPC equipment storage. Japan is financing the project through the Pacific Environment Community Fund.
‘SunWize successfully installed a 1.8 MW system at the airport in neighboring American Samoa in 2012, as well as a smaller system at the VA Hospital in Pago Pago,’ says David Eveland, vice president of sales for SunWize's sustainable energy group. ‘The experience and information we gained during these particular installations will be invaluable as we launch this new project in another tropical island environment.’
SunWize says solar electric installations in the region must be able to withstand 124-mile-per-hour typhoon-force winds and extremely corrosive ocean air.