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Tuvalu Solar Power System

Key results

  • The first grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) system developed and commissioned in Tuvalu, paving the way for solar development on the island
  • 40kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system, meeting approximately 5% of Funafuti’s peak demand and 3% of Tuvalu Electric Corporation’s (TEC) annual household consumption
  • Important transfer of technical know-how and expertise in solar PV technology, enabling TEC to undertake similar projects
  • An estimated 50 tonnes of COemissions avoided per year

In 2008, we commissioned the first grid-connected solar power system on the island nation of Tuvalu, paving the way for solar power development on the island. Like many Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Tuvalu, an archipelago of nine coral islands in the South Pacific Ocean, has been heavily reliant on imported fuel for its diesel power generation systems. It is also one the places on earth that are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. This pioneering project has helped Tuvalu’s government in its quest to switch from full reliance on oil imports to an energy system with an increased share of renewable energy. 

At commissioning, the 40 kW solar power system generated an annual 60 MWh of electricity with a stable monthly production average. This accounted for about 5% of Funafuti’s (Tuvalu’s capital) peak demand, and 3% of TEC’s annual household consumption. We monitored the system for a two-year period, during which we collaborated with local stakeholders to ensure local and sustainable ownership of the project and completed various repairs.

Total ownership of the assets was transferred to the Tuvalu Electric Corporation (TEC) in 2008. This project was a direct result of our collaboration with the Pacific Power Association (PPA). Since 2005, we have worked with PPA on a series of capacity-building workshops to develop renewable energies in the Pacific region.

"Thanks to their understanding, funding and technical support, GSEP enabled Tuvalu to operate its first grid-connected solar power generation system. The system was successfully implemented by GSEP which did a tremendous job not only in developing the project and installing the system but also in carrying out maintenance work at the project site, Tuvalu's national soccer stadium. For that, we are most grateful."

Hon. Kausea Natano, Minister for Public Utilities and Industries at the time of the project’s commissioning

Publication

The Tuvalu Solar Power Project

Decreasing Reliance on Fuel and Enhancing Renewable Energy-Based Electrification in the Small Island State of Tuvalu.


PARTICIPATING MEMBERS AND PARTNERS

  • Kansai Electric Power
  • Tokyo Electric Power Company
  • Government of Tuvalu
  • Tuvalu Electric Corporation
  • Pacific Power Association
  • Government of Japan