May 19 (Renewables Now) - French renewable power producer and developer Akuo has brought online a 16.5-MW/29.2-MWh battery energy storage complex in Tonga, touted as the largest one in the South Pacific.
The complex consists of the Tonga 1 and 2 facilities, which Akuo installed on behalf of the islands’ grid operator Tonga Power Ltd. The French firm was awarded engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for each of the two systems in 2019.
Both facilities are equipped with Akuo’s GEM modular containerised storage units. Located on Tongatapu, the Tonga archipelago’s main island, the 9.3-MW/5.3MWh Tonga 1 uses three containers that will help improve the grid’s stability, while Tonga 2 consists of five containers. The larger facility, of 7.2 MW/23.9 MWh, is designed for load-shifting.
The two projects were realised with financing under a national renewable energy programme, which is being funded by the Tongan government, the Green Climate Fund, the Asian Development Bank, Tonga Power and the government of Australia.
The Kingdom of Tonga currently has 5.6 MW of wind and solar plants in operation and is set to add an additional 6 MW of solar capacity. The island aims to lift the share of renewables in its total power mix to 70% by 2030.