• Maldives has completed turning its diesel generated power systems on 48 islands to solar-battery-diesel hybrid systems
  • This has resulted into 7.5 MW of solar PV capacity commissioned along with 5.6 MWh of BESS and 11.6 MW of energy efficient diesel gensets
  • In all, the solar power capacity aimed for under the project is 21 MW on 160 inhabited islands in the country
  • ADB has completed installations contracted by the SCF, those under JFJCM are currently under progress and EIB funded projects will be installed on smaller islands

The first South Asian country to achieve 100% access to electricity thanks to diesel-powered grid system on all its islands, Maldives is now trying to reduce its reliance on the harmful and expensive fuel that it has to import. Maldives is now exploring pairing it with solar PV and battery storage as a solar-battery-diesel hybrid system on 160 inhabited islands in the country with the help of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The bank is supporting the Environment Ministry of Maldives in its implementation of the hybrid system under ADB’s Preparing Outer Islands for Sustainable Energy Development (POISED) project. Installations on 48 islands under the project are complete and were inaugurated recently.

Of the total targeted capacity of at least 21 MW of solar PV, the project has achieved commissioning close to 7.5 MW of solar PV facilities, 5.6 MWh of battery energy storage systems (BESS) and 11.6 MW of energy-efficient diesel gensets, along with upgrading distribution grids in 48 islands, turning them into hybrid renewable energy systems from diesel-based energy minigrids.    

The bank says on project completion, power generated will cater to the annual demand of 27,600 MWh. 

The POISED project—one of the largest energy sector interventions in the Maldives—will introduce sustainable energy in the outer islands as well as help reduce the cost of energy, minimize CO2 emissions, achieve considerable fuel savings, and reduce the burden on the government budget,” said ADB’s Energy Division Director for South Asia, Priyantha Wijayatunga. 

Along with the ADB, the POISED project is being supported by the Strategic Climate Fund (SCF), Japan Fund for the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JFJCM) and the European Investment Bank (EIB). All contracts under the ADB for SCF have completed installations while those under JFJCM are currently in progress, the bank shared. Funds by the EIB will be used mostly for the remaining smaller islands.