Entura to help Marshall Islands reach renewable energy target

Solar is already powering the local water utility in Marshall Islands.

Australian power and water consulting firm Entura has been selected to help the Republic of the Marshall Islands achieve its renewable energy target.

The Hydro Tasmania-owned company was engaged by the Asian Development Bank to deliver renewable energy strategic advice and solutions to help the sprawling chain of volcanic islands and coral atolls located in the central Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and the Philippines.

As part of its National Energy Action Plan, the country has a target of 20 per cent renewable energy generation by 2020 to reduce its reliance on diesel fuel and foster its transition to clean energy.

“Energy security and self-sufficiency are essential for remote locations such as the Marshall Islands,” Entura managing director Tammy Chu said.

“Diesel fuel remains the single largest expense to generate power in these remote locations, so using renewable energy makes good economic sense.”

Entura is working closely with The Marshalls Energy Company to assist it to meet the nation’s renewable energy target.

Funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the work has three streams of activity: review of the local power system and preparation of an investment implementation master plan; review of financial management practices and tariff structures; and capacity building.

“We will initially undertake a thorough assessment of the entire power system assets to identify any immediate improvements and efficiency gains and to define pathways to achieving 20 per cent renewable energy penetration into the network,” senior electrical engineer Dusan Nikolic said.

“Once we determine if additional generation or enabling technologies are required, we will assess their feasibility and provide recommendations for implementation.”

Mr Nikolic said that developing practical training for local operations and maintenance workers to enhance their ability to manage the day-to-day operation of renewable energy systems both now and into the future is fundamental for MEC’s long-term success.

Delivered by the Entura clean energy and water institute, training will include power system modelling, procurement methods and process, and enhanced financial systems.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.