World’s First Solar-Powered Nation

Tokelau To Be World's First Solar-Powered Nation -

The small nation of Tokelau in the South Pacific will be entirely powered by solar energy by the end of 2012, reports 3News in New Zealand, making it the first nation in the world to do so.

More than 4,000 solar panels are being installed on the three atolls that make up the nation – Fakaofo, Nukunonu and Atafu – and will supply all the energy needed by its 1,400 residents. The first atoll to go completely solar, Fakaofo, is scheduled to have its diesel generators turned off next week. “It’s been quite a milestone week for us, we now have all the solar panels erected, 1584 solar modules, all the batteries are in place,” said mechanical engineer Dean Parchomchuk from Powersmart Solar, which is responsible for the panel installations.

Tokelau : A Tourism, Travel, and Information Guide : Basecamp International

Introduction to Tokelau:

Tokelau is a non-self-governing territory of New Zealand consisting of three coral atolls in the South Pacific: Atafu, Nukunonu, and Fakaofo. These atolls lie approximately mid-way between Hawaii and New Zealand and about 500 km north of Samoa.

Formerly known as the Union Islands, the name 'Tokelau Islands' was adopted in 1946 and then shortened to 'Tokelau' in 1976.

The roughly 1500 hardy inhabitants of Tokelau, unofficially known as Tokelauans, are thought to have settled the islands more than a thousand years ago- thus, they are generically recognized as being Polynesians (and darn proud of it) - and this pride fits well with their culture...
Simply put, Tokelau culture IS Polynesian culture.

Tokelau To Shed Diesel Dependence In Favour Of Solar... | Stuff.co.nz

Lead contractor Powersmart Solar is helping Tokelau replace its diesel generators - which burn about 200 litres of fuel daily - with 4032 solar panels, 392 inverters and 1344 batteries.

Powersmart Solar director Mike Bassett-Smith said the company was proud to be leading the project because of the impact it would have on the well-being of the people of Tokelau.


The solar power systems will be capable of providing 150 per cent of the annual electricity demand without increasing diesel demand.

Companies from all over the globe tendered for the project and it was a "big win" for the Mount Maunganui-based company, Bassett-Smith said.

Tokelau to become world's first solar-powered country - Story - Environment/Sci - 3 News

Workers from Kiwi company Powersmart Solar are just a week away from converting the atoll Fakaofo from being diesel powered to solar powered.
“It’s been quite a milestone week for us, we now have all the solar panels erected, 1584 solar modules, all the batteries are in place,” says mechanical engineer Dean Parchomchuk.