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Kingdom of Tonga Celebrates Major Milestone Towards Renewable Energy Target with Commissioning of ‘Eua island 350kW Solar System and BESS (Tonga Renewable Energy Project)

‘Ohonua, ‘Eua Tonga (02nd March 2023) Tonga Power Limited (TPL) has commissioned a new solar and battery energy storage system in Eua, Tonga, with the financial support of the Government of Australia and the Asian Development Bank. The system includes a 350kW solar plant and a 1003kW/1856kWh battery energy storage system, which will enable TPL to integrate renewable energy into its electricity grid and provide reliable power to customers.

Her Excellency Rachael Moore, the Australian High Commissioner to the Kingdom of Tonga, was present as the guest of honour at the event. In her address, High Commissioner Moore highlighted the importance of collaborations between Tonga and Australia towards achieving sustainable sources of electricity through renewable energy and energy resilience through support of network upgrade projects. She applauded Tonga for its aspirational targets and the delivery of these projects during difficult times.

  The 350kW solar generation system and 1003kW/1856kWh battery energy storage system is the 3rd component lot 1 of the Tonga Renewable Energy project (TREP) whereby we’ve witnessed completion of the 1st and 2nd component October 25th, 2022, with the successful completion of Load Shifting and Grid Stability Battery Energy storage systems in Tongatapu.

The solar and battery energy storage system was constructed by Infratec, a leading renewable energy company, with the support of local contractors JH Electrical and Clay Energy. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the countrywide lockdown, the project was completed successfully, thanks to the dedication and hard work of the TPL team and its partners.

The integration of the solar and battery energy storage system with the existing diesel generators will be a major challenge, but TPL is committed to ensuring that the system operates effectively and delivers real benefits to its customers. With the completion of the new system, along with the existing solar plant installed through the Outer Islands Renewable Energy Project, Eua's renewable energy percentage is expected to reach around 35%.

Government of Australia alongside Asian Development Bank has contributed to similar renewable energy projects as part of the Outer Island Renewable Energy projects (OIREP) which is progressing in network upgrades to Vava’u Island, Setting up a new micro-grid network to Niuatoputapu and microgrid rehabilitation to outer islands of Ha’apai (Ha'ano, Uiha, Ha’afeva, Nomuka).

Australia and the Asian Development Bank remain committed to supporting Tonga's efforts to achieve a sustainable and resilient energy system and will continue to collaborate with Tonga Power Limited and its partners to make this goal a reality.