Palau Re-Launches Solar PV Tender

Republic Of Palau Issues Request For Proposal For Dispatchable Solar PV Project Previously Awarded To Engie EPS; French Company To Bid Again For 100 MW Microgrid Project
01:35 PM (Beijing Time) - 22. February 2019

Having won the rights to develop Armonia, a 100 MW microgrid project in Palau in October 2018, Engie will now offer its candidature again in response to the re-issue of the RFP by the government. (Source: Engie)

Key Takeaways

  • Engie EPS says the Republic of Palau has re-launched a request for proposal (RFP) for a dispatchable solar PV project
  • The French company had won the project the first time it was awarded, and now it will bid again for the same
  • Palau had to re-launch the RFP due to ‘internal reasons’ said Engie, while media reports suggest country’s Senate did not approve of the auction results the first time

The Government of Palau has re-launched a request for proposal (RFP) to develop a dispatchable PV project which in the previous results was awarded to France’s Engie EPS, the microgrid and storage solution focused business arm of Engie.

March 15, 2019 is the last date the RFP will be accepted, following which the winner will be announced and power purchase agreement (PPA) signed.

While sharing this information, Engie did not state the reason for this re-launch, but it said the company is confident that its ‘unique, utility-scale project was a global reference for the state-of-the-art technology and the most competitive when it won the first RFP and is still the best offer’. The company will again propose the ‘most suitable solution to Palau’s expectation’.

Engie said the outcome of the RFP will be reflected in Engie EPS March 31, 2019 backlog when it is published.   

In October 2018, the Republic of Palau adjudged France’s Engie EPS as the winner of its 100 MW microgrid project comprising PV and energy storage to the existing diesel generation. US based organization GridMarket conducted a competitive procurement process under a public-private partnership with the Government of Palau.

The project was called Armonia, meaning harmony in Italian. This dispatchable solar PV project was to have 35 MW of renewable energy and 45 MWh of energy storage and coupled with existing diesel generation to transform the Palau grid into a smart, integrated system with an overall installed power of over 100 MW.

About the project Engie said back then that it would be the largest microgrid in the world and will generate enough electricity to suffice more than 45% of Palau’s total demand. Engie would have delivered clean energy for 30 years to the country at a competitive price, while displacing much of the current diesel generation.

If accomplished, it would have led the tiny nation to achieve its energy goals of 45% renewable energy by 2025, more than 5 years ahead of schedule.

According to a report in the Island Times on January 15, 2019, the office of the country’s President Tommy Remengesau had to start a public petition garnering signatures of 5,000 locals pledging their support for the ‘newly negotiated’ PPA between Public Utilities Corporation and Engie EPS. Apparently, the country’s Senate had opposed the approval of the agreement between the 2, questioning lack of regulations on the side of the Palau Energy Administration, the report stated.

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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Anu Bhambhani