Palau Solar Power/ Government of the Palau Islands
Client – Government of Palau
Type – Solar
Contract – 2 year, supply and install 800 domestic solar systems, plus ongoing maintenance
DNO – Palau Utility Company
Voltage – Low voltage
Connection – LV USA split phase system (120v-240v)
Palau is an archipelago of over 340 islands in Micronesia. A tropical, humid climate and largely undeveloped terrain make this a difficult environment for the supply of services to the inhabited islands. The country is largely dependent on diesel, and energy costs are excessive, with many people living in government-supported housing who have limited income.
The Government of Palau spoke at the 2021 Cop26 climate summit, speaking about the environmental issues that the country faces, from rising and warming seas, increased tropical hurricanes and typhoons and a lack of renewable resources. Enabling environmentally friendly, affordable power is one of the steps the country is taking in their move towards net zero.
The Asian Development Bank is working with Palau to provide solar renewable energy and connected with Utilligence, who offered a solution via the tender process. Utilligence were challenged to prove their capabilities in renewable energy, their technical and quality credentials and their ability to deliver the project in an environment where skilled local personnel and plant are difficult to source. Their understanding of the renewables industry and prior work with grid systems were key to them being awarded the project.
They first formed Palau Solar Inc., a local company and appointed a local workforce to be trained to carry out the work and manage the project locally. Many of the island’s social housing is single-storey dwellings, many of which are not on a regular map, requiring specific map coordinates to know their location. This is where the solar panels are to be safely fitted to withstand the extreme climatic conditions and part of the project is developing the infrastructure to change the main grid to one that can accept incoming power as part of a distributed power generation solution.
Developing a dynamic, stable grid that can manage reverse power flows is part of what will be a multigenerational power solution that takes the country towards net zero. The Palau project is ongoing, with an estimated compassion date of June 2024.