Prony and Kafeate Windfarms, New Caledonia

  • 7. Affordable Clean Energy
  • 8. Work + Economic Growth
  • 12. Responsible Consumption
  • 13. Climate Action

The Pacific islands region faces increasing environmental and socio-economic pressures, which are further aggravated by global climate change. The UN recognizes small island developing states as being particularly vulnerable to climate change. Already severely affected by climate variability and extreme tropical weather events, they remain extremely vulnerable to future changes in the regional climate and to rising sea levels. Besides replacing dirty fossil fueled energy with sustainable power, the wind project tackles several environmental and societal issues.

New Caledonia is located in a hurricane hot spot; the wind turbines used in the project are specifically designed for this type of climate, meaning that the whole wind farm can be tilted down within a few hours in the event of an extreme weather alert.  In addition, to strengthen civil society and indigenous Kanak rights, the project supports local and regional initiatives addressing employment, youth and community activities. Furthermore, the infrastructure of the wind farms is based on existing roads only to limit erosion and the project now serves as an example for similar projects throughout the South Pacific, and is seen as a symbol of environmentally respectful development that is sensitive to the needs of local tribes.

Project impacts and benefits:

  • The development of this first ever Gold Standard VER project in the Pacific will trigger further emission reduction projects in the region.
  • More than 30 temporary and 28 permanent jobs have been occupied by local Kanak people, lowering migration pressure.
  • The project owner embraced a local business initiative to strengthen small businesses and local economy.
  • Building awareness for low carbon futures, local and school groups frequently visit the windfarms.
  • The project helped fund two Community Coordination Centers, one in Mont-Dore and one in Yaté. The centers offer employment and training opportunities in collaboration with tribes and communities.
  • The project owner supports the regional community relations group which offers educational training for young people, organizes sport and cultural events, and supports initiatives and local infrastructure improvements.
  • The project stimulates technology development and transfer in the wider region thanks to the innovative and pioneering  application of the typhoon safe turbine technology.

For additional information visit www.thesouthpolegroup.com or contact Andrea Rumiz>>

“It is just incredible that we are going ahead with such developments, without having made any effort to look into economic alternatives or done studies on using renewable energies to avoid such high levels of CO2 emissions.”
Kanak independentist George Mandaoue, an Assembly member for New Caledonia’s Northern Province