SunWize Technologies, Inc., is designing and installing what will be the Independent State of Samoa’s largest solar electricity generation system. With an expected completion date in late 2013, the 546kW project with Samoan power utility Electric Power Corporation (EPC) is a notable international installation for SunWize, a leading provider of sustainable energy solutions.
“Currently, diesel power plants generate approximately 60 percent of Samoa’s electricity, making the country dependent upon imported fossil fuels,” said Rapa J. Young, solar project team leader for EPC. “As a result, fluctuating global oil prices have a tremendous effect on electricity tariffs. We believe our investment in this renewable solar energy project will allow us to reduce Samoa’s dependency on fossil fuels and provide its citizens with a more reliable, stable and affordable supply of electricity.”
Expected to generate 700,000 kWh annually, the project will span three separate sites on two Samoan islands—Savai’i and Upolu. The communities of Salelologa, Savai’i and Tanugamanono, Upolu will be home to two ground-mount installations, while the Vaitele, Upolu site will contain both a ground mount array and a solar canopy building that will also be used for EPC equipment storage. The Government of Japan is financing the project through the Pacific Environment Community (PEC) Fund.
Samoa’s island location in the South Pacific will provide the SunWize team with a number of logistical challenges throughout the project’s duration. However, according to David Eveland, Vice President of Sales for the Sustainable Energy Group, SunWize has the expertise to make the Samoan project a success. “SunWize successfully installed a 1.8 MW system at the airport in neighboring American Samoa in 2012 as well as a smaller system at the VA Hospital in Pago Pago,” Eveland explained. “The experience and information we gained during these particular installations will be invaluable as we launch this new project in another tropical, island environment.”
The solar electric system in Independent Samoa must be able to withstand 124-mile-per-hour typhoon-force winds and extremely corrosive ocean air. Using its engineering and design experience from the Pago Pago projects, the SunWize team applied the similar principals to all the ground mount systems, as well as the solar canopy planned for Vaitele to withstand the high wind loads. The Company was also able to implement a similar extensive corrosion control plan dictating appropriate galvanization methods for solar module frame mounting and grounding. The plan will limit the system’s potential for corrosion, extending its life to an estimated 25 years.
“This new solar installation will help Samoa take a major step toward improving its energy efficiency while also helping us develop greater skills and capacity in the growing renewable energy field,” EPC’s Young added. “We’re excited to see this project come to fruition and provide positive environmental and financial benefits for both current and future generations of Samoans.”
ABOUT SUNWIZE TECHNOLOGIES, INC:
SunWize is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsui & Co. (USA). Mitsui, a global Fortune 150 and $66B organization, is listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. Delivering sustainable energy solutions to leading public and private organizations for over twenty years, SunWize is a global Engineering, Procurement, and Construction company, a premier Distributor of sustainable energy products, and a Developer of engineered solutions for mission-critical projects. By leveraging Mitsui’s global network both upstream and downstream, SunWize provides Businesses, Government Agencies and Dealers with the resources they need to execute sustainable energy projects on time and within budget. For more information, visit http://www.sunwize.com.
Media contact: Ben Delman, 703-302-8389, mediarelations(at)sunwize(dot)com