Separated by the open expanses of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius and Maldives are united in turning to large-scale, grid-connected solar solutions to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels, get cheaper electricity and meet growing demand.

The government of the Republic of Mauritius announced last week that a 16.3 MW solar power plant has been connected in the industrial zone of Solitude, near Port Louis. “The electricity produced will be directed to the sub-station in Riche Terre to supply the region and the economic zone of Jin Fei,” the government said in a statement. “The solar plant feeds into the Central Electricity Board (CEB) national electricity grid, replacing the country’s energy mix with clean, renewable energy.”

Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Ivan Collendavelloo said there are now six operational solar farms on the archipelago with another four to be built in coming months. The latest installation cost €20 million.

Mauritius is supporting distributed solar through net metering and rebates in a scheme aiming to put photovoltaic panels on the rooftops of 10,000 homes. In addition, it’s planning a 2 MW floating PV plant. The government is planning to increase use of renewable sources of energy from the current around 22% to 35% by 2025.

In the Maldives meanwhile, the Scaling Up Renewable Energy Program (SREP) is pushing forward its commitment in a 5 MW solar tender. The Ministry of Finance issued a tender for the deployment of a grid-tied solar photovoltaic facility near the capital Malé. The project will be implemented on a design, build, finance, own, operate, and transfer basis.