Tokelau is a small island in the Pacific that has switched it’s entire power grid to solar, this is the first of a few islands in the region that will be fully independent from having to import fuel for electricity.
Before the solar power grid was completed, the New Zealand-administered grouping of three coral atolls, with a population of just 1,500, relied on diesel generators for electricity. Project coordinator Mike Bassett-Smith said the diesel was not only environmentally unfriendly, it also cost the islands, which lie about halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii, around NZ$1.0 million ($825,000) a year.
Bassett-Smith, from New Zealand firm PowerSmart Solar, said the change would allow Tokelau to switch money from fuel purchases to social welfare projects.
“For Tokelau, this milestone is of huge importance for their continued well-being,” he said in a statement received Wednesday.