The tiny island nation of Tokelau will be taking a major step towards breaking its fossil fuel addiction with the help of solar power and SMA solar inverters.
At just under 12km2 and home to 1400 people, Tokelau is a territory of New Zealand situated in the South Pacific Ocean.
The three atolls that make up Tokelau – Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo – have been almost exclusively reliant on diesel generators for electricity production – an expensive and emissions intensive energy source.
That’s all about to change. Work will commence soon on three 300kW hybrid PV based solar power systems incorporating SMA Sunny Island inverter chargers.
The systems will not only meet the country’s needs now but also well into the future; with the solar farms capable of providing 150% of Tokelau’s electricity requirements.
SMA says each of the three facilities will be larger than any other Sunny Island based system currently in existence.
“With approximately 700 SMA inverters and chargers, this is the first time an entire country will be powered by SMA systems. These will be the largest AC coupled hybrid systems in the world,” reads part of a statement from SMA.
This use of solar panels also has special significance as like so many other island nations, Tokelau is threatened by rising sea levels connected to climate change caused by human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels.
Funding for the project has been provided by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s aid program.
SMA solar inverters aren’t just used in large scale solar farms – they are also a popular choice for Australian residential off-grid solar and grid-connect installations. SMA is generally considered the world leader in solar inverter technology and over 3 gigawatts of SMA products have been installed globally to date.