3 March 2020
Tokelau’s renewable electricity grid is undergoing an upgrade to increase reliability, with Vector PowerSmart confirmed to build a solar and battery system to future-proof the renewable energy supply for the next decade.
The Pacific Island nation’s existing solar and storage capabilities were installed in 2012 but are now in need of an upgrade due to increasing demand for electricity and wear and tear from the harsh marine environment – each atoll is only a few metres above sea level.
“We’re proud to be helping Tokelau achieve its goals of energy independence and being powered by renewable energy both now and into the future,” said Colin Daly, Chief Operating Officer Vector PowerSmart. “This project will mean the people of Tokelau will enjoy clean, reliable and renewable energy for years to come”.
Jointly funded through the governments of Tokelau and New Zealand through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the project will see an additional 210 kW solar array and 2MWh battery storage system installed on each of the three atolls: Atafu, Fakaofo and Nukunonu.
Robin Pene, General Manager for Tokelau’s Department of Energy, said “This new system will improve the reliability of or electricity supply and will help decrease emissions from transporting and burning diesel for electricity generation, in line with our national strategy for responding to climate change.”
The existing lead acid battery storage systems will become redundant and will eventually be removed off island for recycling. The new lithium ion battery will take up less space and provide twice the output capacity. The upgrading of the three power stations will result in reliable access to close to 100% renewable energy for each of Tokelau’s 1400 inhabitants.