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Popua Solar Farm
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Type:
Energy
Cost:
$1.4 million
Started:
Nov 2011
Completed:
Under Construction
Location:
Tonga
Client:
Meridian Energy-Tonga Power-Government of Tonga Alliance
Photovoltaic solar farm to generate energy for island nation

Fletcher Royco is responsible for the civil works and concrete foundations subcontract for a photovoltaic solar energy farm at Popua, in Tonga.

The sub-contract also includes assistance with the erection of solar panels at the site, which is located next to Tonga Power’s Popua diesel power station on the main island of Tongatapu.

Site-works began in November 2011 and include 2600m² stripping of vegetation, construction of roading, 260m of 2m-high mesh fence, the repair of an existing 200m long fence and laying of 4890m² of geotextile membrane. 

Foundations will be comprised of 11 parallel concrete slabs varying in length from approx. 30m to 120m in one field, and eight parallel concrete slabs varying from around 84m to 126m in an adjacent field. Anchored to these slabs will be 480 solar pods, each supporting 24 solar panels in an eight by three array inclined at an angle of 20 degrees to the horizontal. The panels each measure 1.675m x 1m.

The $7.9 million solar farm project is an an alliance between Meridian Energy, Tonga Power Ltd and the Government of Tonga.    Tonga Power will operate the farm, leasing it from the developer Meridian Energy for the initial five years and then taking over ownership. It is being funded by New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and it will provide approximately 1880MWh of electricity per annum and will support the Tongan Government’s 10-year plan to reduce reliance on imported fuel for electricity generation. 

Other Parties
Name:
Reid Technology
Role:
Head Contractor
Name:
SolarWorld
Role:
Solar panel supply
Name:
Emerson-Control Techniques
Role:
Inverter/transformer supply
Name:
Kordia
Role:
11kV Interconnection