• Tonga Power Limited’s 6 MW solar power tender was won by Sunergise New Zealand Limited
  • The company signed a 25-year PPA with the utility to develop and complete the project by April 2020
  • Tongatapu located plant is expected to generate 10 GWh of clean power across 3 sites to help country meet 15% of its anticipated electricity demand by 2020

Sunergise New Zealand Limited has secured a contract to develop a 6 MW solar power plant in Tonga. It signed a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with state utility Tonga Power Limited (TPL) on March 21, 2019.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) calls it the largest solar plant in South Pacific, and second biggest in the Pacific. The bank’s Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI) acted as transaction advisor to the Tonga government for the tender.

The project capacity will be spread across 3 sites in Tongatapu and is anticipated to generate 10 GWh of clean energy on completion, which will be enough to meet 15% of the country’s anticipated electricity demand by 2020. It is expected to come online by April 2020.

The country’s Minister of Public Enterprises, Saia Ma’u Piukala said it will contribute to lower the cost of power and to Tonga producing at least 50% of its power from renewable sources by 2020. By 2030, Tonga aims to have renewables supplying 70% of its total electricity demand under the Tonga Renewable Energy Project through which the country is also developing wind and biomass generation sources to be integrated with battery storage units.

ADB is supporting the Tonga Renewable Energy Project with a $12.2 million grant, while administering grants of $29.9 million from the Green Climate Fund and $2.5 million from the Government of Australia (see $44.6mn Grant For Renewable Energy In Tonga).

The project developer Sunergise’s parent company is partly owned by the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

In April 2018, TPL invited proposals from independent power producers for the 6 MW solar plant along with battery component (see Tonga Tender For 6 MW PV And Storage).