A big project for the installation of a Wind Power Generation System in Tongatapu to be completed by 2019 is funded under a grant aid from the Government Japan, with an estimated to $40 million pa’anga.
The Ambassador of Japan HE Mr Yukio Numata signed the Exchange of Notes and Grant Agreement with Prime Minister Hon ‘Akilisi Pohiva on Tuesday, April 2 at the Fa’onelua Convention Centre as well as Mr Sawada, Representative of JICA Fiji Office.
This project will install five windmills generating 1.3MW in total, and construction is expected to start later this year and be finished in May 2019.
The Ambassador said this followed a project for the introduction of a micro grid system with renewable energy completed in March 2015, which installed a grid connected photovoltaic system.
He said their aim is to contribute to achieve the goal of increasing the proportion of renewable energy to 50 percent for Tonga’s entire electricity supply in accordance with the Government’s implementation policy in the Tonga Energy Road Map (TERM) 2010-2020.
“The wind power project is very much unique to its formulation based on an understanding of Tonga’s vulnerabilities to natural hazards including earthquakes, tsunamis and cyclones.”
The Ambassador said it is also crucial that the next grant aid proposal will be the Project for a Nationwide Early Warning System and Strengthening Disasters Communications, to cover all of the islands including the Niuas and install alarm systems and strengthening communication capacity during disasters.
The Prime Minister Hon ‘Akilisi Pohiva said the Government’s heartfelt thanks to the Government and people of Japan for their generous assistance through this grant aid channeled through JICA.
He said energy is a vital element in Tonga’s social and economic development as it enhances the wellbeing and livelihood of the Tongan people.
Tonga was the first Pacific Island country to create the first clean energy roadmap which recognized the urgent need for a transition to renewable energy and its committment to obtain 100% renewable energy by 2035.
“These projects and others will be instrumental in helping to ensure that all Tongans will be accessible to clean energy sources that is reliable, cost effective and sustainable with a pollution free environment.
Mr Toshihiro Nikai, the Secretary-General of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan was also present at the signing with the Governor of the Kochi Prefecture and the Mayors of Hirokawa and Kuroshio Town and others, who are visiting Tonga.
Mr Nikai pushed efforts for the realization and adoption of November 5 as the World Tsunami Awareness Day by the UN General Assembly in December 2015.