New Caledonia has a unique natural heritage, but its per capita greenhouse gas emissions are among the highest in the world. The energy sector is marked by a strong dependence on imported fossil fuels (coal and heavy fuel oil imported from Australia and New Zealand). In view of this, in mid-2016, the Congress of New Caledonia approved an Energy Transition Plan (STENC), which sets out the directions for the energy policy for the next 20 years.
One of the major areas of this public policy concerns the increase in the share of renewable energies in order to make the energy mix more balanced. It is in this context that in late 2016, AFD supported QUADRAN, the French leader in green energies, which has been operating in New Caledonia since 2002.
The project involves building and operating a solar power plant with a capacity of 11.2 MWc in the South Province, in Boulouparis. The power plant, which is the largest existing solar facility in New Caledonia, comprises 43,000 panels covering 20 hectares. It was commissioned at the end of April 2017.
It will provide an electricity supply equivalent to 5,400 households. The energy produced will be sold via a long-term power purchase agreement to Enercal, a semi-public company majority owned by New Caledonia. A similar (but smaller) project has also been financed at the same time in Temala in the North Province. It is the first photovoltaic power plant on customary land. All the materials selected for the facilities are recyclable, their lifespan is in line with the project, and the facilities installed are fully reversible. All the equipment which will be installed will be dismantled at the end of the operating period.
- Contribution to meeting national and international objectives for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- One of the benefits of the project is also the local energy production, which will provide production near the main consumption centers, such as Boulouparis and, more generally, Greater Nouméa.
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