Inauguration of the Solar-Ice Power Plant in Dhiffushi, Maldives

November 14, 2016

The Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership’s (GSEP) Dhiffushi Solar Ice Project in the Maldives was inaugurated today. Led by GSEP member Kansai Electric Power Company from Japan, this project features the installation of a 40 kW grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) system installed on the island of Dhiffushi in the Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean that is particularly vulnerable to global climate change and sea-level rise. The PV system is coupled with an ice-making machine which will enable the island’s residents to preserve fish for sale, as fishing is the island’s main economic activity.

The Maldives is listed by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a Small Island Developing State (SIDS). Like many other SIDS, the Maldives is reliant on imported petroleum to meet energy demands. Fluctuating oil prices and growing concerns about climate change have driven the Maldives to pursue more sustainable energy solutions. The country’s tropical location and year-round sunlight makes it an ideal site for solar energy development. 

At the project’s inauguration ceremony, the Minister of State for Environment and Energy, Mr. Abdul Matheen Mohamed, thanked the GSEP and its member companies for their support throughout the development of this project. The support of the Ministry, along with the State Electric Company Limited (STELCO) and the Asian Development Bank has been crucial to the development of the project.

“This project will not only create a momentum for the shift away from full reliance on diesel generation, but also mitigate the shortage of ice demand in the Island, supporting their main economic activity. We are very grateful for the support from GSEP, Kansai and the Government of Japan,” said Mr. Abdul Matheen Mohamed.

The project will serve as a model for similar projects that may be replicated in the region. In addition to providing residents with cleaner energy, the ice machine will also accelerate the economic activities of the island’s fishermen who require ice to preserve fish.  The Dhiffushi Solar Ice Project will prevent the emission of an estimated 49 tonnes of COper year and will generate momentum for the shift away from full reliance on diesel generation in other island nations.