The Republic of Palau announced the signing of a 30-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) of a proposed plan to develop and deploy a 35MW solar PV and 45MWh battery storage microgrid in Palau. The comprehensive energy plan for Palau's national transformation was developed by GridMarket, the leading renewable energy platform. The Palau Public Utilities Corporation (PPUC) accepted the terms of the PPA offered by selected microgrid developer, ENGIE Eps. The size and scope of the planned system will dramatically accelerate Palau's renewable generation and carbon reduction targets. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Distributed Generation: Minigrid Microgrid Zero Emission 2018-2038.
The Palau National Congress (OEK) established the Palau Energy Authority (PEA) which has created the market mechanisms required to transform Palau's national infrastructure in record-time, while securing a low cost of energy for the government and its citizens. The project has secured support from stakeholders from across the country who have been intimately involved in its planning for well over a year. The Republic of Palau is proud to have achieved energy independence for the people of Palau.
"Palau's clean energy transition should serve as the shining beacon on the hill," said Chairman Greg Decherong of the Palau Public Utilities Corporation.
Following the Paris Agreement, Palau committed to a 45% renewable energy target by 2025 as well as a 22% reduction in our energy sector emissions below 2005 levels. Reliant on imported diesel fuel which accounted for more than 95% of its energy generation, Palau organized the 2017 Palau Energy Summit in partnership with its federal, state, and local governments and their ministries, the PPUC, EarthX, EarthJustice, IRENA, NREL, New Zealand, the U.S. Department of Energy, and other international partners. The Palau Energy Summit not only successfully created a framework for a national energy transformation, but it established a public-private partnership with GridMarket that will result in the Republic of Palau achieving its energy goals more than five years ahead of schedule.
"In the midst of the global energy transition, it is imperative that we address climate mitigation and climate adaption -- at the same time," said President Tommy Remengesau. "As we reduce our carbon footprint, so too should we reduce the vulnerabilities of our energy infrastructure in the face of rising seas and natural disasters. As we generate cleaner energy, so too must it be reliable, accessible, and less expensive for those citizens of the world who live on the front-lines of climate change. Our partnership with GridMarket has accelerated Palau's transition toward a renewable and resilient future."
GridMarket deployed its machine-learning based platform in Palau, remotely assessing grid infrastructure, the built environment, and other variables in order to develop a national transition strategy based on the country's unique energy footprint. Upon approval of the recommended distributed energy plan, GridMarket hosted an RFP through the platform's competitive marketplace. Following a rigorous review and negotiation to secure the best available terms, ENGIE was selected from the pool of qualified vendors to complete the project. The pioneering microgrid in Palau will be the largest in the world.
"We deployed GridMarket's data tools and machine-learning enabled platform to revolutionize Palau's energy infrastructure in record time - with plans to create a network of distributed micro grids and storage-enabled solar installations to ensure a sustainable, resilient energy economy," said GridMarket CEO Nick Davis. "Palau's extraordinary transformation exemplifies GridMarket's new paradigm for helping our island partners in the Pacific and across the world embrace a clean, cost saving, resilient energy future."
Once plans to integrate the 35MW solar PV and 45MWh battery storage system with existing diesel generation facilities are complete, total installed power will be over 100MW.
"The Palau microgrid would not be just one of the largest storage-enabled solar projects in world, but a pioneering showcase for the whole global energy sector," said Carlalberto Guglielminotti, CEO and General Manager of ENGIE Eps. "Universal, affordable and reliable access to clean energy will be a reality in Palau in a few months."
The microgrid will maximize the economic and environmental value of Palau's abundant solar resources, while ensuring that the nation never pays for unused power or creates technical challenges for the grid. By signing this Power Purchase Agreement, the Republic of Palau secures 30 years of clean energy at a lower price, enabling the displacement of the current diesel generation, dramatically reducing carbon emissions, and improving the island's access to reliable and affordable renewable energy.
Accelerated timelines, maximized renewable value, and reduced diesel generation costs make the microgrid the most cost-effective solution for Palau. ENGIE's provided PPA guarantees Palau competitive fixed rates for the duration of the 30-year contract, resulting in lower energy rates, protection from diesel price volatility, and enabling Palau to reinvest allocated savings back into the local economy. The microgrid will strengthen Palau's centralized energy infrastructure and reduce the island nation's vulnerability to natural disasters with a resilient source of decentralized power. The Republic of Palau and GridMarket proudly celebrate their public-private partnership that is responsible for the fastest national transition to renewable energy and resilient infrastructure ever to occur.
"Over the last fourteen months, we've had the privilege to work alongside visionary leaders who are spearheading a historic national energy transformation that will serve as a model for island nations and coastal communities around the world," said GridMarket CEO Nick Davis. "From the PPUC to Congress and the Council of Chiefs to President Remengesau, Palau's leadership is paving the way for the world to follow its lead toward global sustainability."
The report unveiled last week from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) definitively states that humanity must transform the global economy at a scale and speed that has "no documented historic precedent" if we are to successfully prevent the worst effects of climate change, while protecting the world's most vulnerable populations from the immediate consequences of climate change. In order to achieve this, international leaders must share best-practices and rapidly scale proven solutions and partnerships. The Republic of Palau and GridMarket are committed to scaling their model for national energy transformation to small island developing states (SIDS) around the world through the Island Resilience Partnership (IRP). The IRP is committed to bringing resilient infrastructure and renewable energy to other island nations by applying the GridMarket process to scale the proven Palau model. As the host of the Our Ocean Conference in 2020, the Republic of Palau is committed to accelerating the world's transition toward a sustainable and resilient future and proudly celebrates its national transformation as a model for the world to adequately respond to the global call-to-action by the IPCC.
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