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PM opens Tonga’s first Large-Scale Battery Energy Storage Systems

Matatoa, Tofoa

Hon. Hu'akavameiliku with Paula Ma'u and guests at the ceremony. Matatoa, Tofoa, 25 October, 2022

A special event today marks the official opening of Tonga’s first ever large-scale Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) by the Guest of Honor for the event, Honorable Huákavameiliku – Prime Minister for the Kingdom of Tonga. The two Battery Energy Storage systems are deliverables of the Tonga Renewable Energy Project (TREP) located in two separate locations. The first BESS, which is for grid stabilization, is located at the Popua Power Station and the second BESS, which is for load shifting, is located right behind NEMO’s new operations facility in Matatoa, Tofoa.

Distinguished guests for this event included the Chairman for the Common Utilities Board of Directors, Mr. Tapu Panuve, a high-level delegation from the Asian Development Bank led by ADB Director General for Pacific Department, Ms. Leah Gutierrez who delivered the remarks on behalf of the Asian Development Bank, and Mr, Aaron Batten, Regional Director of Asian Development Bank, Mr. Adrien BOCK, Chief Operating Officer for Akuo, Asia Pacific who delivered remarks on behalf of Akuo, as well as Chief Executive Officer for Ministry of Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications Mr. Paula Maú, who delivered the Vote of Thanks on behalf of the Government of Tonga.

A consistent theme highlighted throughout the event was the importance of perseverance and collaboration throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, of all involved stakeholders towards planning, financing and implementation of this vital technological enabling component, towards Tonga’s Nationally Determined contributions of achieving its 70% Renewable Energy generation target by end of year 2025.

USD$16.7 million project

This project is worth a total of $16.7 million USD jointly funded by the Asian Development Bank, Green Climate Fund, and the Government of Australia, and implemented by Tonga Power Limited with assistance from the Government of Tonga. The contractor for the project was Akuo.

This project is a novelty in terms of technology for the Kingdom of Tonga, its main functions are a vital component and an enabling technology that is essential for the energy sector, which allows absorbing higher generation from renewable energy sources. The technology helps stabilize the electricity grid for intermittent generation of renewable energy and also operates as a load shifting to store the solar generation during the day to be utilized during high customer load demand hours in Tongatapu. This project is an essential step to allow further renewable energy to be connected to the electricity grid.

The successful execution and delivery of these two complementary BESS projects in Tonga through the pandemic is the fruit of a trustful cooperation between ADB, TPL and Akuo. Each party has proven to be open, forward-looking and able to find solutions to install and commission the largest battery energy storage system in the South Pacific, despite a close of borders for more than two years.

Jean Ballandras CEO Akuo Asia-Pacific said, “The project couldn't have been delivered by Akuo without setting foot in the Kingdom if it wasn't for the counterparts to acknowledge the worldwide situation and be focused towards the success of the start of operation of the two BESS. Akuo is very thankful to the Client and its Funders for their flexibility and efforts towards reaching a common success in providing a key element to the energy transition in Tonga via the commissioning of the two battery energy storage systems.”

Two further hybrid solar and Battery Energy storage system projects, also part of the Tonga Renewable Energy Project, are close to completion in the outer islands of Vavaú and Éua. Both are aimed to be completed by November 2022.

Tonga Power Limited continues to work collaboratively with Donor Partners and the Government of Tonga towards effective implementation of Renewable Energy projects towards achieving our National Determined Contribution of 70% Electricity generation by end of year 2025.

About Akuo

Akuo is an independent global renewable energy producer and developer. The company is present across the entire value chain, including project development, financing, construction, and operation. Akuo had invested more than EUR 2.8 billion as of end 2021 and currently has a total capacity of 1.4 GW in operation or under construction and 10 GW of projects under development. With more than 450 employees, the Group, headquartered in Paris, France, has a presence in 15 countries around the world. In 2014, Akuo started its industrial branch to provide innovative solutions to clients looking for tier-one storage solutions. With almost 100 MWh of installed capacity, Akuo provides experienced and exhaustive support to its clients on the design, construction, and operation of battery energy storage systems.

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About TREP

Tonga Renewable Energy Project (TREP) has three components: (i) a large BESS capacity on Tongatapu to ensure that the intermittent electricity generated from solar photovoltaic and wind power to be funded by private independent power producers can be stored and used overnight without negatively affecting Tonga Power Limited's grids; (ii) electricity generation from the most feasible renewable resources in Tonga in Eua and Vava'u islands, and in five outer islands (O'ua, Tungua, Kotu, Mo'unga'one, and Niuafo'ou); and (iii) grid technologies and management upgrade to adapt to new electricity sources in five outer islands. The project also includes capacity building and project management support, with an emphasis on providing women with training and economic empowerment opportunities.

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Matangi Tonga Online, Sponsored Post ref. #6967 Tonga Power Limited 25 October - 25 November 2022