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Tokelau islands shift to 100% solar energy

November 12, 2012
"The Tokelau Renewable Energy Project is a world first. Tokelau's three main atolls now have enough solar capacity, on average, to meet electricity needs,"
- New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully

Tokelau has become the first territory able to meet all its electricity needs with solar power, officials say.

The South Pacific territory - comprising the three atolls of Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo - had been dependent on diesel to generate electricity.

New Zealand, which administers Tokelau, funded a $7m (£4.3m) solar project.

Solar grids were constructed on the three atolls, with the last completed earlier this week.

Project co-ordinator, and PowerSmart MD, Mike Basset-Smith said that the move represented a "milestone of huge importance" for Tokelau, as it would now be able to spend more on social welfare.

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