The Pacific islands region faces increasing environmental and socioeconomic pressures sharpened 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. To strengthen civil society and indigenous Kanak rights, the company supports local and regional initiatives addressing employment, youth and community activities. In order to save nature and landscape partly disordered by former deforestation and mining activities, the infrastructure of the wind farms is based on existing roads to limit erosion.
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. This smart engineering approach makes the project a perfect match for the location and ensures that the nation’s green power supply can sustain an extreme climate event such as a hurricane.
The project now serves as an example for similar projects throughout the South Pacific, and is seen as the symbol of an environmentally respectful development to which local tribes are really sensitive.