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Delivering the infrastructure for more renewables in Tonga

In April 2020, Infratec began a two-year project to design, procure and build on-grid solar PV and battery energy storage facilities on the ‘Eua and Vava’u islands in the Kingdom of Tonga.

The NZ$7.5 million project is a Joint Venture between Infratec and sister company NETcon and is a significant infrastructure development for Tonga and the wider Pacific.

We will be designing and delivering the infrastructure to more than double the solar power currently on the islands. For ‘Eua, this translates to 28% of their energy needs, and 7% for Vava’u.

On a technical level, these systems include the battery needed to deliver solar day and night, and for the first time run the islands off-diesel for periods of time.

The project is part of the Tonga Renewable Energy Project, which aims to achieve 70% renewable energy for Tonga by 2030. Its goal is to increase energy access — sustainably and affordably. It will reduce Tonga’s vulnerability to increasing oil prices, reduce its carbon emissions, improve its resilience to climate change and pricing shocks, and provide secure, sustainable and clean electricity for homes and businesses.

The decreased energy costs from these projects will also have a very direct impact on people’s lives — reducing the cost of doing business, creating new business opportunities, and freeing up household income for other needs such as education.

Infratec will be delivering the project in a way that brings as much benefit as possible to local people and communities — including employing local community liaison staff, providing employment and training for local people in the construction phase (with a target of at least 20% women), training Tonga Power Limited staff for ongoing maintenance, and delivering an HIV/Aids prevention programme on each of the islands.

This project is representative of the work we are very passionate about doing at Infratec  — delivering positive outcomes for local people, communities and the planet.

The project is administered by Tonga Power Limited and the Asian Development Bank and funded by the Green Climate Fund, Asian Development Bank, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Tongan Government.