Samoa officially opened its first wind farm today.
Slap bang on the Samoan island of Upolu, home to nearly three quarters of the population, the wind farm will supply 1,500 MWh of power per year.
The country which broke away from New Zealand in 1962 paid for the project through a $50 million fund specifically for Pacific countries from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Built by Abu Dhabi-based energy firm Masdar, it is expected to deliver US$475,000 in annual fuel cost savings.
The turbines are ‘cyclone proof’ according to Masdar and could reduce the island’s carbon footprint by more than 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year.
The Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi said: “Access to renewable energy is vital to our long-term economic development, even beyond the substantial gains realised by cutting our dependence on imported fuel.”
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar said: “This UAE supported project, and others like it underway across the Pacific, unlock significant economic and social benefits across the region.”
He added: “Today’s inauguration reinforces the UAE’s commitment to advancing and deploying renewable energy globally.”