French renewable developer Akuo commissions biggest BESS projects in Tonga and also Martinique

May 23, 2022 12:30 PM ET
  • French renewable power producer and also programmer Akuo Energy has commissioned a 29.2 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) in Tonga, several weeks after powering up a 19MWh project in Martinique
French renewable developer Akuo commissions biggest BESS projects in Tonga and also Martinique
Image: Akuo corporate video screenshot

The Tonga 1 and also Tonga 2 storage systems are on Tongatapu, the main island in the archipelagic South Pacific country, and also link to the grid of public operator Tonga Power Limited.

Both total 16.5 MW of power as well as 29.2 MWh of energy making this the biggest BESS in the South Pacific, Akuo stated. Both private systems comprise Akuo's Storage GEM modular containerised remedy, three for Tonga 1 as well as five for Tonga 2.

Tonga 1 is a 9.3 MW/5.3 MWh created to boost grid security, with a period of simply 34 minutes. Tonga 2 is a 3.3-hour system with 7.2 MW/23.9 MWh of energy, designed mainly for load shifting.

They have already permitted Tonga to double its renewable energy capacity with the recent addition of 6MW in solar PV power, bringing the country's renewable mix to around 20%. It aims for 70% by 2030.

The BESS likewise showed its resilience throughout a tsunami in January which devastated the coastline as well as cut the nation off from the outside world. The BESS proceeded operating and helped secure the grid in the days adhering to the natural catastrophe.

The two projects completed US$ 53 million in investment, of which 56% was from the UN's Green Climate Fund, 23% from the Asian Development Bank, 10% from the Tongan government, 6% from Tonga Power and 5% from the Australian federal government.

Largest storage system in Martinique

The statement comes a month after Akuo commissioned a 19MWh BESS on the French overseas territory of Martinique in the Caribbean, although journalism launch stated its contractual effective quantity is 12MWh.

The Madina Storage facility additionally uses Akuo's Storage GEM containerised solutions as well as is a lithium-ion-based BESS (Akuo didn't expose the chemistry for the Tonga facility).

The BESS connected to the island's grid, run by French state-owned energy business EDF, will certainly enable greater penetration of renewable energy. It will certainly offer load shifting capabilities in addition to grid frequency regulation solutions in case of a sudden loss of power.

French commercial bank Groupe BPCE was the facility's banking companion while noted investment company Methanor provided it with equity financing.

Eric Scott, chairman and co-founder of Akuo, claimed: "We are extremely proud to put this storage facility into service, evidence if it were needed of the essential function this innovation plays in power networks' performance and of its complementarity with the manufacturing of renewable energy."

Akuo was founded in 2007 by the owners of Perfect Wind after they sold their whole wind portfolio to Spanish multinational electric utility Iberdrola. The firm won solar tenders on French abroad territories last year as well as has spent EUR2.8 billion (US$ 3 billion) for a total capacity of 1.4 GW renewabele energy capacity (operational or in development).

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