Clay Energy | Fiji

Fiji

Country

Solar, Energy storage

Technology

Scale-up

Business type

David Eyre

Regional Coordinator, Pacific Islands

In a pioneering effort for the Pacific region, Sunergise International subsidiary Clay Energy, in collaboration with the Fiji Government and funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), spearheaded the establishment of a groundbreaking 1MW grid-connected solar photovoltaic farm coupled with a battery energy storage system (BESS) on Taveuni, the third-largest island in Fiji.

It is the first large-scale grid export solar and battery solution to be deployed in the country, providing the benefit that the battery system can stabilise the grid when sun days are low. It also saves on diesel generation that has been used to deliver electricity to the Taveuni grid in the past – cutting emissions in the process.

 

 

 

By harnessing the abundant solar resources of the region, this project aligns with Fiji’s national target of achieving 100% renewable electricity and its international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030, thus improving living standards, health outcomes, job creation, climate resilience and food security. The installation of this solar farm further ensures grid stability and reliability, providing a sustainable solution to the challenges of energy access for the island’s residents.

PFAN provided vital support to Clay Energy, assisting with financial model refinement and business plan development and drafting their pitch deck for investors. “Your credibility and ability to deliver on a project within a certain timeframe are key. PFAN’s main involvement in this project is with the private sector entity, where they can access financing or utilise our advisory services to help structure their ask for finance”, says David Eyre, PFAN Regional Coordinator for the Pacific Islands.

Headquartered in Fiji, Clay Energy has been at the forefront of delivering renewable energy solutions across the Pacific since 1998. This new solar plant is situated at the Mua Research Centre in the north of Taveuni, an international centre for palm and coconut research owned by the Fijian Government and is poised to bolster the island’s existing generation capacity. According to Shaneel Prakash, Clay Energy’s Project Manager, “Taveuni is employing two 350-watt hydro turbines, and the addition of our 1 megawatt of solar energy will allow the expansion of the grid into areas that are currently without electricity access”.

 

 

The battery storage system augments grid stability and reliability by storing surplus solar energy for use during periods of low generation or high demand while also providing backup power during outages. “The current system powers the main population centres, and considering how the communities are spread out across Taveuni, it will allow for most, if not all, of the people of Taveuni to be connected to the grid. This will enable Taveuni to run entirely on renewable energy”, added Shaneel.

The nature of grid connectivity on the small island states of the South Pacific differs significantly from larger countries with expansive national grids – this project benefits a highly rural, off-grid setting. “Because it’s in an off-grid space within an off-grid scenario, it will be a project that everybody will be looking towards. The opportunity lies in its potential for easy replication if it proves successful – entities involved will likely seek to replicate it elsewhere”, explains David.

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