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Tonga Solar Energy Project - Maama Mai Solar Facility

Amali Shaw's picture
Submitted by Amali Shaw on June 8, 2016 - 3:28pm
Project Information
Project Level: 
National
Project Status: 
Completed
Start Year: 
2011
End Year: 
2012

The Maama Mai solar facility was commissioned in July 2012 by his Majesty King Tupou VI at Tonga Power Limited’s Power Station at Popua.  The project was funded by the NZ Aid Programme at a total of $7.9 million NZD. In Tongan, Maama Mai means “Let there be Light”.

Since its operation in 2012, the solar farm performed faultlessly producing an average of 1,880 MWh of energy per annum, saving the country around 460,000 liters of diesel per annum. This project is Tonga’s first step towards the Tonga Energy Road Map’s goal to reduce Tonga’s reliance on fossil fuel for electricity generation by 50 percent by 2020.

Solar Facility Production

  • The graph shows the year to date generated energy from the facility. As of June 2014, the production was 7.74% above forecast kWH.
  • The solar plant is shared by all consumers in Tongatapu, Vava’u, Ha’apai and ‘Eua Islands.
  • TPL’s overall diesel fuel consumption was lowered by 3.40% as provided by the facility. Recent development of the solar facility’s operation as of June 2014 shows that Maama Mai actually saved 504, 465 litres of diesel, which translates to 3.75% of the overall diesel use at all power stations.

Solar Operational Performance

  • The graph shows that the 1MW mark was reached as indicated by the dotted black line. The curve shows power generated by Maama Mai. The green, red and blue curve indicates intermittency due to cloud cover. As shown here, when the sun rises during the day, the power generated from Maama Mai increases. The solar plant generates less electricity output when the sun begins to set.

Links: http://www.tongapower.to/OurBusiness/RenewableEnergy/SolarEnergyProjects.aspx

Type of Funding: 
Grant Aid

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