From beverage makers to international hotels: commercial solar takes off in the Pacific

SunFunder financing enables Sunergise to launch solar projects totalling 2.4MW in Fiji and 783kW in Vanuatu

As well as energy access for off-grid communities, there is a huge opportunity for solar power to provide more reliable power and displace diesel generation for businesses. Cleaner and cheaper solar energy not only cuts carbon emissions, but also supports economic growth as businesses benefit from uninterrupted power supply.

SunFunder has been working with leading Pacific solar energy provider Sunergise to finance the roll out of these installations across the region. The first two projects were launched recently at the Iririki hotel in Vanuatu and Coca-Cola AMATIL’s plant in Fiji.

Andrea Griffin, SunFunder Vice President for Global Business Development, commented:

“Our partnership with Sunergise is an exciting opportunity to scale the deployment of commercial and industrial solar systems with a leading developer in the Pacific, a region where the economics for solar are so strong. We see immense potential for many types of enterprises to lower their dependence on diesel by installing solar to power their day-to-day operations.”

The 1.1MW Coca-Cola AMATIL installation in Suva is the largest rooftop solar project in Fiji, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands. By powering 40% of the processing facility from the sun, the company will save 415,000 litres of diesel per year. Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, commenting on the factory’s embrace of solar energy, said: 

“And in doing this, you are taking a key leadership role in persuading private enterprise throughout the Pacific to do the same”. 

SunFunder has financed other Sunergise projects in Fiji, totalling more than 2.4MW.

The 783kW Iririki solar array, Vanuatu's largest, combines a solar system with 2MWh battery storage capacity at the Iririki Resort and Spa in Port Vila. It will displace over 798 tons of carbon dioxide every year – the equivalent of avoiding nearly 2 million miles being driven by the average passenger car – and help the hotel meet the growing demand for eco-friendly travel options. Paul Makumbe, Sunergise CEO, said: 

“We are delighted to work with SunFunder and Iririki Resort to implement Vanuatu’s largest solar installation, enabling Iririki to save considerably on power costs and to further elevate their green credentials.”