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Home Projects Renewable Energy Programme

Jan 2009 - present

Tongatapu, Tonga


The vast majority of Pacific nations are reliant on diesel generators for electricity generation. In Tonga, all fossil fuels come to Nukualofa and are then transported to other islands increasing the cost to remote communities. There is enormous benefit to a community in a remote location having a reliable and cheap power source that is local. In these communities the cost of power derived from renewable sources would represent a significant discount on what they currently pay for diesel generated power or from home based generators they fuel themselves.

To trial the implementation of renewable energy in Pacific Island communities, EcoCARE partnered with Engineers Without Borders to create a school based solar generation system that could mitigate their power costs and allow for great use of high drain information-communication technologies. After beginning research and development in 2009, a pilot programme installing systems in five high schools on the main island of Tongatapu. This included a landmark agreement with Tonga Power Limited, the sole provider of electricity throughout the islands, to allow the schools to sell power back to the grid to mitigate their bills and increase access to resources. This project is in the process of being rolled out nationwide, with Rotary NZ providing the funding and management for this larger scale project.