Turning on the power for remote Tongan Islands
In March 2020, Infratec began a two-year project to design, procure and build five solar PV-battery storage power plants on outer islands of the Kingdom of Tonga.
The NZ$15 million project is a Joint Venture between Infratec and sister company NETcon, and is funded by the Asian Development Bank.
The five power plants and network distribution systems will be completed by mid-2022.
The plants are being built on the isolated islands of O’ua, Tungua, Kotu, and Mo’unga’one in Tonga’s Ha’apai group and Niuafo’ou in the northernmost Niua group.
The project will bring clean, affordable and reliable power to about 100 homes as well as community facilities — the majority of which currently have no electricity supply.
That means improved education outcomes due to lighting and communication services in schools, increased economic activity such as small businesses and households generating additional income, employment opportunities during the project construction stage, and increased empowerment of women (who receive proportionally higher benefits from increased access to energy).
About 40 local people will be involved in the construction phase, with a particular focus on employment opportunities for women (with a target of 30%).
We have also committed to work with local communities to deliver HIV/Aids prevention programmes — a local priority identified by the project funders.
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 Asian Development Bank and funded by the Green Climate Fund, Asian Development Bank, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Tongan Government.