Masdar launches Samoan wind farm
Island nation's prime minister unveils 550 kWe UAE-backed project.
Samoa has inaugurated the country’s first wind farm, a 550 kWe project delivered by Abu Dhabi-based Masdar.
The wind farm is the second project to be completed under the UAE’s $50mn Pacific Partnership Fund, which is managed by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.
It will supply 1,500 MWh of power per year, which will result in annual fuel cost savings of $475,000.
H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and chairman of Masdar, said: “This UAE supported project, and others like it underway across the Pacific, unlock significant economic and social benefits across the region.
“By providing local sources of renewable energy and reducing reliance on imported fuels, the UAE is helping countries like Samoa realize its development ambitions, while also delivering valuable clean energy infrastructure.”
The wind farm is located on the Samoan island of Upolu, which is home to nearly 75% of the country’s population.
Besides the supply of power and fuel cost savings, the project will also reduce the island’s carbon footprint by more than 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year.
The project includes two 55 metre high turbines that can pivot at the base, and then be lowered and locked in place in less than one hour.
This collapsible design helps to avoid damage from the region’s numerous cyclones.
“The new wind farm delivered by Masdar and funded by the ADFD is a significant step forward in Samoa’s transition to a more sustainable energy future,” said Samoan prime minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi.
“This has been possible thanks to the support of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates, and their commitment to advancing sustainable development,” he explained.
“Access to renewable energy is vital to our long-term economic development, even beyond the substantial gains realised by cutting our dependence on imported fuel.”
The UAE Pacific Partnership Fund supports the deployment of renewable energy across Pacific island states and represents one of the largest-ever investments in clean energy across the region.
The grant is managed by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, and coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate of Energy and Climate Change. Masdar partners with each nation’s government and leads the design and implementation process.
H.E. Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, director-general of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, said: “The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development is committed to working collaboratively with governments across the developing world, on projects that deliver tangible social and economic benefits.
“This innovative, bespoke project offers energy access to thousands of people, whilst demonstrating the validity of renewable energy as an economic enabler,” Al Suwaidi said.
“We believe this project will unlock a significant opportunity for the Samoan government and its people.”