Big battery to displace diesel and help Tahiti leap to 75 per cent renewables

2021. 11. 19

A 15MW/10.4MWh battery energy storage system is to be built in Tahiti, helping the French territory in the heart of the Pacific save millions from the replacement of diesel generators, and help reach its target of 75 per cent renewables by 2030.


The battery will be built by Kokam, a subsidiary of SolarEdge, and will be integrated with a virtual synchronous generator (VSG) system developed by Siemens.

The new system – due to begin operations late next year – will begin to replace Tahiti’s spinning reserve diesel generators, which often run in case another generator experiences an outage, and savings of $2.2 million in diesel costs are expected each year.

The Tahiti battery will operate in a similar fashion to another highly successful Kokam battery, a 35MW/12MWh facility operated by Alinta at Mt Newman in Western Australia, where it has removed the need for spinning reserve from gas generators, saved money, cut emissions and improved reliability.

Tahiti currently sources around 36 per cent of its electricity supply from renewable energy – around 30% from hydroelectric stations and 6% from solar PV – and the remainder is heavily dependent on diesel, which is not only dirty but very expensive.


Tahiti will benefit enormously from this innovative and sustainable technology solution,” Jeff Connolly, chairman and CEO of Siemens Australia Pacific, said in a statement. “It’s economically sustainable with significant and ongoing financial savings. It’s environmentally sustainable as it decreases the need for diesel fuel.  And it’s socially sustainable in that it supports the stability of electricity and the island’s emissions goals for Tahiti as they embrace more renewable energy sources.

“It’s a great example of how technology with purpose can create a sustainable future and it opens up opportunities for remote locations such as islands and mine sites which otherwise rely heavily on diesel for their energy supply.”


Connoly said the combination of power conversion system and virtual synchronous generator technology solution will deliver the same synchronous services and reactive power capabilities traditionally provided by a synchronous generator.

“Electricité de Tahiti’s BESS demonstrates how innovative and intelligently-designed battery solutions can help utility and industrial customers lower greenhouse gas emissions while also improving their bottom line and increasing grid reliability,” said Ike Hong, Chief Marketing Officer of Kokam.


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