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Tonga To Tap Into Solar Power

Press Release – Asian Development Bank

NUKU’ALOFA, TONGA (23 January 2012) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan today signed a letter agreement to fund the preparation of the Outer Island Renewable Energy Project, which will connect solar power to the country’s existing electricity …ADB AND JAPAN HELP READY
TONGA TO TAP INTO SOLAR POWER

NUKU’ALOFA, TONGA (23 January 2012) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan today signed a letter agreement to fund the preparation of the Outer Island Renewable Energy Project, which will connect solar power to the country’s existing electricity network.

Finance Minister Sunia Manu Fili signed the grant agreement on behalf of the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga. Siosaia Faletau, ADB’s Development Coordinator in Tonga, and Yasou Takase from the Embassy of Japan in Tonga witnessed the ceremony.

The project will assist the government’s efforts to reduce the country’s heavy reliance on imported fossil fuels for power generation. Tonga Power Limited will support project implementation by delivering electricity generated by solar power to customers within the project area, which includes the outer islands of Ha’apai, ‘Eua, and Niuas.

“We are pleased to partner with Japan and the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga to provide a secure, sustainable, and environmentally friendly source of electricity for private and commercial consumers,” said Paul Hattle, Energy Specialist and ADB project team leader.

The $500,000 technical assistance grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, which will be administered by ADB, will fund screening and site selection for one solar plant on each island group; economic, environmental, and legal feasibility studies; and a skills training program for implementing agencies. Private consumers will also be made aware of the benefits of solar power.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members — 48 from the region.

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