Entura continues to support Tonga’s clean energy journey
December 12, 2019
Entura has been engaged by the Asian Development Bank to continue its involvement in Tonga’s journey towards a more sustainable and resilient future powered by renewable energy.
Tonga comprises more than 170 South Pacific islands, many uninhabited. Like many island nations in the Pacific, Tonga is facing the urgent challenges of climate change. A key element in building greater environmental sustainability and climate resilience is increasing the proportion of renewable energy generation and storage and decreasing the reliance on emissions-intensive and expensive imported diesel fuel.
The government of Tonga has a renewable energy target of 50% by 2020 and 70% by 2030. It has completed more than 14 projects to date, and is working on 9 new projects under the Tonga Renewable Energy Project (TREP) due to be completed before the end of 2020.
Funded by the Green Climate Fund, Asian Development Bank, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Government of Tonga, the TREP project will provide storage and grid stability on the main island of Tongatapu, allowing installation of more than 10 MW of new private investment in renewable generation to help achieve the 50% target. On the outer islands, TREP will provide new storage and renewable generation on 7 islands, including 5 new mini-grids for islands that do not currently have a power station or reliable power supply.
Entura previously undertook technical, financial and economic feasibility assessments and due diligence on each of the TREP projects, supporting Tonga’s applications for project finance. Entura has also supported Tonga through the procurement of these projects, with the final tender recently closing.
Entura is now poised to continue its involvement into the next phase by again supporting Tonga to ensure TREP projects are successfully delivered on time. Entura will review contractors’ designs, witness testing, and monitor and supervise work on site as the TREP projects are constructed.
“Securing funding for TREP and commencing implementation of these projects is an important milestone for Tonga,” said Tonga Power Limited CEO Seti Chen.
“The most critical stage of delivery is now underway, and we are pleased to be working with experienced partners including Entura to ensure that this can be done on time, and with a high-quality outcome.”
The new renewable energy developments will enable greater access to modern, reliable energy services for the population of approximately 104 000, and will enable greater energy security and affordability by lessening reliance on imported diesel.
“The people and government of Tonga are expecting to see the impact on future electricity tariffs of adopting a 50% share of renewable energy,” said Paula Ma’u, CEO of Tonga’s Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC).
The renewable energy projects will help Tonga meet its environmental targets, and will contribute to climate change adaptation programs for areas already witnessing rising sea levels and associated issues such as erosion of roads and sea walls, increased salinity, and damage to buildings.
“Enabling safe and sustainable renewable power developments that make a positive and enduring contribution to communities is very important to us, and we are always pleased to bring our expertise to assist our Pacific neighbours with their renewable energy journeys,” said Entura’s Managing Director, Tammy Chu.
Over a number of years, Entura has successfully delivered a range of renewable energy solutions across the Pacific including remote island projects in the Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Tuvalu and the Federated States of Micronesia. The firm has developed a world-leading approach to off-grid and fringe-of-grid megawatt-scale development through its experience with hybrid renewables projects.