ADB has granted USD 22 million to Nauru to fund the delivery of sustainable solar energy to help meet the socio-economic development needs of the country
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Nauru have signed a USD 22 million grant for a project that will fund the delivery of reliable, affordable, secure, and sustainable solar energy to help meet the socioeconomic development needs of the Pacific island nation. The Government of Nauru will contribute USD 4.98 million towards the initiative.
“Nauru currently relies heavily on imported diesel fuel for power generation,” said ADB Director General for the Pacific, Carmela Locsin. “The project will reduce diesel dependency and help boost the amount of electricity generated from renewable sources from 3.0 percent to 47 percent.”
The grant will fund a 6-megawatt (MW) grid-connected solar power plant and a 2.5 MW-hour, 5 MW battery energy storage system (BESS) to help supply continuous power even when solar energy is interrupted by cloud cover. The system will be fully automated and integrated with the existing diesel system to optimise solar energy use, enable optimal BESS charging and discharging, and allow optimal shut-off of the diesel engines. This will reduce the Pacific Island nations’s reliance on diesel for power generation and decrease production costs.
The project will strengthen the institutional capacity of the Nauru Utilities Corporation by training staff in the operation and management of the solar plant and the battery energy storage system, while supporting gender-mainstreaming efforts and providing project implementation assistance. Project-related employment will include gender targets. When the project is complete, solar power will provide 100 percent grid-connected electricity supply to the people of Nauru during daylight hours.
The Nauru Solar Power Development Project is one of a series of renewable energy projects being financed under ADB’s Pacific Renewable Energy Investment Facility, which was developed in response to the growing demand from the region for energy finance.
The facility also provides innovative financing mechanisms and upscale support for sector reform in the smallest 11 Pacific island countries consisting of the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.