Suva, Fiji – The Fiji Development Bank (FDB) gained approval from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for USD 5 million for the Fiji AgroPhotovoltaic (APV) Project in Ovalau. This project is a first of its kind for Fiji and the Pacific region, as it marks the first time FDB secured GCF funds as a Direct Access Entity.
The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) contributed to the project’s development in the early stages through various feasibility studies and assessments.
The GCF approved the innovative APV project at its 26th Board Meeting on 20 August 2020. The Fiji APV project is valued at USD 10 million and will be co-financed by GCF, FDB, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and Envelops CO. Ltd.
At the announcement of this milestone achievement for FDB, Fiji’s Minister for Economy, Mr. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum highlighted that the Fiji APV Project is historic in more ways than one.
“It is the first ever FDB – GCF project, the first ever APV project approved by the GCF, the first ever mitigation centric GCF project for Fiji and one of the first ever private sector climate projects for the Pacific – with many more hopefully to follow”, said Minister Sayed-Khaiyum.
GGGI was acknowledged for its valuable contribution to the project. In 2016, GGGI commenced working on a pre-feasibility study with the Fiji Ministry of Economy and Department of Energy on assessing the 100% renewable energy potential for Ovalau (and Taveuni). This study was completed in 2017 and presented solar energy with storage as one of the key technological solutions for reaching 100% renewable energy in both islands and the whole of Fiji.
GGGI’s assessment also noted the co-benefits of reduced environmental risks from transportation of fuel (for electricity generation), and, noise pollution as well as highlighted the possibilities of green jobs creation in solar energy.
A feasibility study was also carried out by GGGI and the Ministry of Economy in collaboration with Energy Fiji Limited (EFL) to assess the potential for up to 50% solar energy generation for Ovalau. The study indicated that Ovalau presented significant commercially viable potential for solar energy, and also highlighted that this would be subject to additional financial support.
The APV Project will establish a 4-megawatt solar energy generation system with a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) of 5 megawatt hours. This installation will enable all of Ovalau’s nearly 10,000 residents to shift from being completely dependent on diesel generation to 50% solar energy generation. A notable component of this project is also the cross benefits it promises on the gender equity and social inclusion front thereby enabling achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Receiving this project approval from the GCF presents great scope for Fiji to encourage private sector engagement and innovation. It also places Fiji on a promising path to achieving its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and Low Emission Development Strategy (LEDS) targets. The inclusion of the agriculture sector ensures that adaptation is also at the forefront of this project. Upon completion, this will be Fiji’s first ground mounted utility-scale installation integrating batteries and also the largest solar installation in Fiji.
GGGI is proud to have supported the Fiji Development Bank’s Entity Work Programme through which this proposal had been finalized and submitted for approval to the GCF. In addition to technical assistance from GGGI staff secondment to the FDB, this programme will be further supported by the Readiness project currently underway to develop projects pipeline and concepts notes for new, potential projects.
This project symbolizes an advancement in innovation for Fiji and reaffirms the stance of Pacific countries in being global climate leaders. Affirming this partnership and commitment, GGGI wholeheartedly congratulates all the partners – FDB, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, the Department of Energy and Envelops Ltd as well as the GCF and KOICA in this great step forward for Fiji.