NEW YORK, May 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — GridMarket is thrilled to announce that Tonga has been awarded a grant from the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) to fund GridMarket’s work to accelerate Tonga’s journey to 100% renewable generation. The official announcement took place on Earth Day at the Island Resilience Summit as part of EarthX in Dallas, Texas. The grant was facilitated and secured by GridMarket, with support from government and utility stakeholders on the ground in Tonga. Funds will accelerate critical technical, regulatory, and financial development work that will lay the foundation for optimized renewable energy installations across Tonga’s four main islands. The work will identify the exact mix of renewable energy technologies to be deployed and the viable financial mechanisms that will optimize value for the utility, the local government, and the people of Tonga.
“We are honored to be chosen as Tonga’s renewable energy partner and grateful for the support of USTDA to accelerate critical energy and infrastructure progress,” said GridMarket CEO, Nick Davis. “Island nations like Tonga are increasingly vulnerable to climate change and global supply chain volatility; Tonga is still recovering from the volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami that took place in January 2022. By applying our AI-driven platform and process, we will work together with our partners Tonga Power Limited, the Ministry of Energy, Environment, Information and Climate Change (MEIDECC), USTDA, and others to create a stronger, more resilient energy grid for the Tongan people. Today, we are excited to celebrate this crucial milestone in Tonga’s journey to 100% renewable energy generation.”
Currently, Tonga Power Limited (TPL) has worked towards achieving approximately 50% of its renewable energy target. Through this grant-funded development work and GridMarket’s subsequent procurement process, Tonga’s forecasted renewable penetration will exceed 100% of current demand.
“Today, I am thrilled to celebrate a critical milestone in Tonga’s journey to 100% renewable energy,” said Hon. Poasi Matele Tei, Hon. Acting Prime Minister of Tonga and Minister of Energy, Environment, Information, and Climate Change (MEIDECC). “Over the last few months, we have worked closely with our partners at GridMarket and the United States Trade and Development Agency to create and execute a funding agreement that will help us reach energy independence. When development and procurement are complete, we anticipate exceeding our renewable energy generation goals, and bringing clean, affordable, and resilient energy to our islands.”
The project scope will kick off with remote preliminary analysis conducted by GridMarket’s automated, AI-driven platform. The platform will digitally survey all properties and land parcels across the four main islands for renewable energy potential, then build out a customized module visualizing the output along with key elements of the centralized grid and critical infrastructure. From there, technical and financial analysis will further optimize the identified opportunities and create Tonga’s strategic renewable energy implementation plan.
“USTDA is committed to delivering prosperity and energy security across the Pacific Islands. We are delighted to launch our program in the Kingdom of Tonga and look forward to further expansion of our program across the region,” said Enoh T. Ebong, USTDA’s Director. “This project will facilitate partnerships with U.S. industry and have a transformative impact on Tonga’s power sector, its climate resiliency, and the daily lives of Tongan citizens.”
The previously established public-private partnership between GridMarket, the Island Resilience Partnership (IRP), and Tonga has laid the groundwork for work to advance and accelerate through funding. Tonga joins a number of other island nations, including The Independent State of Samoa, Sint Maarten, and the Republic of Palau, who all have all partnered with GridMarket and IRP to create and implement transformative energy plans. The partnerships, milestones, and future plans have been highlighted annually at EarthX, the world’s largest environmental forum. Tonga is the first in GridMarket’s portfolio of island partners to leverage US government funding to accelerate the pre-development process.
“Our proprietary process is highly scalable, but we still customize the platform to each unique island,” said Oisin O’Brien, Vice President of Data Analytics and Project Development at GridMarket. “By working closely with a local utility, municipality, and expert stakeholders on the ground, we fine-tune our digital tools to align with an island’s centralized grid system, incorporate any existing targets or mandates, and prioritize affordable, resilient power. Best practices from other island projects are helping us to better refine the strategy in Tonga.”
Following the completion of the funded development analytical work, GridMarket will oversee Tonga’s procurement strategy, sourcing competitive bids via the platform to identify the technology and financial partners who will complete the planned projects. Updates will be posted to the GridMarket webpage, and potential partners can learn more here and sign up to be included in future procurement outreach.
GridMarket is an energy project optimization platform and global marketplace leveraging big data and artificial intelligence to accelerate the global energy transition. Working with property portfolio, individual energy consumers, governments, and utilities around the world, GridMarket identifies and tailors best-fit energy projects, engages top-tier global solution providers, and mobilizes financial markets to help partners meet energy and net-zero carbon targets. GridMarket has a substantial global pipeline and portfolio of successful projects, spanning diverse customer types and geographic regions. GridMarket uses its platform to open up new markets and facilitate distributed energy deployment through automation, predictive analytics, remote digital capabilities, and dynamic stakeholder engagement tools.