The United Arab Emirates and New Zealand have signed an arrangement for the development of a jointly funded 1 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in the Solomon Islands, reported Trade Arabia.

600kW will be funded by the United Arab Emirates and 400kW funded by the New Zealand Government, through the New Zealand Aid Program.

The power plant will be developed by Masdar, connected to the grid in Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands.

“New Zealand is delighted to strengthen our cooperation with the UAE in the Pacific region through this initiative – providing clean renewable energy and reducing reliance on imported fuels to support sustainable development of the Solomon Islands,” said Jeremy Clarke-Watson, New Zealand’s Ambassador to the UAE.

Dr Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE permanent representative to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and director of Energy and Climate Change at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs added: “This project will deliver significant economic, social and environmental benefits to the people of the Solomon Islands.  It will reduce their dependency on imported diesel, freeing up vital financial resources for other developmental projects.  The UAE is honoured to partner with New Zealand and support the government of the Solomon Islands in its efforts to accelerate economic development and to showcase the viability of this sustainable development model.”

According to Gulf News the solar PV plant is part of the $50 m United Arab Emirates Pacific Partnership Fund, established in 2013, delivered by Masdar and funded by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.

This latest project is also part of New Zealand’s wider $100 m investment in renewable energy across seven Pacific Island countries.