Entura supporting Tonga and Tuvalu with renewable energy

16 April 2020 Consultancy.com.au 4 min. read

The islands of Tonga and Tuvalu are both working with specialist Australian consulting firm Entura on renewable energy projects.

Over a number of years, Tasmania headquartered Entura has successfully delivered a range of renewable energy projects across remote islands including the Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Samoa, and the Federated States of Micronesia. 

Meanwhile in Tonga, a Polynesian kingdom of more than 170 South Pacific islands, the firm’s consultants are helping the kingdom with the roll-out of a renewable energy strategy. The government of Tonga has a renewable energy target of 50% by 2020 and 70% by 2030. To date, fourteen projects have been completed, and nine projects are currently being delivered under the Tonga Renewable Energy Project (TREP) due to be completed before the end of 2020. 

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 supporting Tonga and Tuvalu with renewable energy

In the early stage of the programme, consulting firm Entura was brought on board to undertake a technical, financial and economic feasibility assessment and due diligence on each of the TREP projects. The analysis helped Tonga raise project finances from the Green Climate Fund, Asian Development Bank, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade and the Government of Tonga. 

Entura then also supported Tonga through the procurement of these projects, with the final tender recently closing, and has now been asked to continue its work in the delivery phase. The specialist consulting firm, which has around 250 employees operating from Cambridge and Melbourne, will review contractors’ designs, witness testing, and monitor and supervise work on site as the TREP projects are constructed. 

“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,” said Seti Chen, the CEO of Tonga Power.

Commenting on the project, Entura’s Managing Director, Tammy Chu, said: “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.” 

Solar energy

In Tuvalu, Entura is supporting the local government with its solar energy ambitions, part of the island’s goal of 100% renewable electricity generation by 2025.

One of the projects focuses on installing rooftop solar and battery storage systems to boost renewables from 15% to 32% in Tuvalu’s capital, Funafuti, while another project seeks to implement ground-mounted solar on the islands of Nukufetau, Nukulaelae and Nui, which once operational, will increase their proportion of renewable generation to more than 90%. 

Entura performed due diligence of social, environmental, financial, economic and technical aspects of the projects, and leveraging the analysis, the Tuvalu government last year received a $6 million grant from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), enabling the two projects to become reality.

The consulting firm has also been involved with the preparation of tender documents and managing the tender process on behalf of Tuvalu Electricity Corporation to procure the contractors and equipment for the projects, with tenders closing in early December. The consultancy is currently working with the local team on the bidding phase. 

“It is very gratifying to see our preliminary work in Tuvalu move into its next stages,” said Chu.