WELLINGTON, New Zealand, April 24 (UPI) -- New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully said his government was helping to support the construction of the region's largest solar energy project.
McCully is touring Pacific island nations this week with European Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs. Before departing earlier this week, Piebalgs said from Brussels rising sea levels attributed to climate change are endangering low-lying nations in the Pacific region. The economies of Pacific island nations, meanwhile, are burdened by the high cost of importing fossil fuels to their isolated territories.
McCully said Wednesday his government was working through a partnership with the European Union, the Asian Development Bank, and the government of Samoa to build the region's largest solar energy array.
"Renewable energy is a strong focus of New Zealand’s support to developing countries," he said in a statement.
McCully said a sports complex in Samoa will host the 2.2 megawatt solar array.
"This array will provide the highest electrical output from a single installation in the Pacific and is a major part of a larger renewable energy program funded by New Zealand," the minister said.
No financial terms were disclosed by the New Zealand government.