Motufoua Secondary School

Motufoua Secondary School (MSS) is the only government school in Tuvalu, a small Polynesian island nation in the Pacific Ocean. It is located on the island of Vaitapu (population 1,555), which at 5.6 square km is the nation’s largest atoll. The school has a 46kW solar PV array and a diesel generator but, as this is subject to fuel availability, a constant power supply is not guaranteed.

The candidate proposes installing a bio-digester and piggery. This will provide organic fertilizer for the vegetable garden and produce enough biogas to meet the school’s needs, thus saving money otherwise spent on synthetic fertilizer and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) imports from Fiji. It will also install four 10,000-liter rainwater tanks and a 3kW solar PV system to light the piggery and run a water pump.

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The total project cost is $105,670. The candidate has provided detailed quotes and has stated that costs not covered by the Zayed Future Energy Prize would be met by the EU-funded Tuvalu Biogas Project and by the Ministry of Education through its Special Development Expenditure fund.

The 3kW solar system will cost $3,676 in materials, or about $1,255 per kW, which is within the Prize guidelines. The candidate envisages having to pay the solar consultant’s fees of $10,707 and the bio-digester consultant’s fees of $12,314. These reflect the very high travel costs, plus accommodation and living expenses for the advisors and their assistants.

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