The South Pacific Island of Samoa has opened the region’s largest solar array, the Faleata Racecourse. Located in the capital city of Apia, the 2.2 MW photovoltaic array was built in the middle of the city’s large racecourse. Working with two smaller arrays, Faleata will provide 4.5 percent of Samoa’s energy needs renewably, reducing the country’s heavy dependence on diesel.
The Faleate solar farm consists of over 8,000 solar panels and will be the largest source of renewable energy in the Pacific, saving the Samoa government about SAT$10.5m (approx. US$650,000) annually. The large solar project is the result of collaboration between Samoa, New Zealand, and the European Union. Today’s inauguration took place as the UN World Conference on Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) is currently underway in Apia.
Speaking at the inauguration today, European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs said: “Reducing reliance on fossil fuels is a prerequisite for sustainable growth, combined with investment in alternative, affordable, and reliable energy sources. This is a conviction which the European Union shares with New Zealand through the Energy Access Partnership, of which this solar photovoltaic farm is an immediate result. I commend Samoa and New Zealand for their ambition to produce the largest PV site in the Pacific and to do so in less than 18 months.”