SolarCity solar station arrives in Vanuatu

SolarCity NZ’s first containerised solar station arrives in Vanuatu this week, the first in a series designed to power fresh water production for 11,000 people on the islands.

solar station solarcity vanuatu​SolarCity NZ’s first containerised solar station arrives in Vanuatu this week, the first in a series designed to power fresh water production for 11,000 people on the islands.

Developed by SolarCity NZ for Hitachi, the 50kWp solar power system has been built inside a modified shipping container and will power the first of two desalination plants for the islands.

The solar station has been designed to work independently of the grid and provide isolated and developing communities with power to produce safe drinking water and access to solar power.

The two solar-powered sea-water desalination plants will be installed on Ambae Island and Aniwa Islands. The Ambae plant will produce approximately 4,200 litres of fresh water per hour, and the Aniwa plant will produce approximately 420 litres of fresh water per hour.

In 2013, SolarCity installed a 131kWp system in Nauru for desalination. Like the Nauru project, the Vanuatu system is funded as part of the Pacific Environment Community (PEC) Fund.

SolarCity is one of the government’s Focus 500 companies targeted to contribute significant benefits to the New Zealand economy and the world’s first solar company to achieve CarboNZero accreditation.

SolarCity chief executive Andrew Booth says one of the company's goals is to work on state-of-the-art solar projects that reduce Pacific dependency on fossil fuels.

"Reliable access to energy lies at the heart of economic development and is crucial to human well-being."