Siemens solution to help Tahiti decarbonise for a sustainable future

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Image Provided: www.siemens.com.au
Media Release by Siemens

Energy technology from Siemens has been selected by Kokam to help support the Pacific Island of Tahiti in its decarbonisation goals. With an aim to produce 75% of the island’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030, Electricité de Tahiti (EDT) awarded Kokam with the contract to supply a spinning reserve and Statcom solution. Siemens’ power conversion system with virtual synchronous generator (VSG) functionality was then selected to integrate into Kokam’s 15MW/10.4MWh lithium-ion Battery Energy Storage System (BESS).

The battery solution from Kokam, a global provider of innovative lithium-ion battery solutions and a subsidiary of SolarEdge Technologies, will help EDT, a subsidiary of ENGIE, offset existing diesel generators. It is expected to reduce diesel usage by approximately up to~$AUD2.2 million annually.

Expected to be delivered in late 2022, the Siemens SINAMICS S120 virtual synchronous generator (VSG) system will play a critical role within Kokam’s BESS in supporting the power, frequency, and overall grid stability of Tahiti’s energy network. The VSG system will complement the traditional synchronous generators currently stabilizing the grid to support increased penetration of various renewable energy sources.

Chairman and CEO of Siemens Australia, Jeff Connolly said that technology innovations are opening up opportunities for decarbonising energy supply in places that otherwise rely on diesel for grid stability and backup.

“Tahiti will benefit enormously from this innovative and sustainable technology solution,” Mr Connolly said. “It’s economically sustainable with significant and ongoing financial savings. It’s environmentally sustainable as it decreases the need for diesel fuel. Every litre of diesel fuel saved means about 2.7kg less CO2 emissions. And it’s socially sustainable in that it supports the stability of electricity and the island’s emissions goals for Tahiti as they embrace more renewable energy sources. It’s a great example of how technology with purpose can create a sustainable future and it opens up opportunities for remote locations such as islands and mine sites which otherwise rely heavily on diesel for their energy supply.”

“This combination of power conversion system and virtual synchronous generator technology solution is innovative in the market. We were able to draw on the global strength of Siemens to support Kokam in their delivery of a superior battery solution, helping Electricité de Tahiti’s goals of decarbonisation and power supply stability for Tahiti,” said Mr Connolly.

Currently around 36% of Tahiti’s electricity supply comes from renewables – 30% from hydro-electric stations and 6% from solar PV. The rest remain heavily dependent on diesel, which is not only carbon intensive, but can be highly vulnerable to price volatility and supply disruptions.

Ike Hong, CMO of Kokam, said that this project demonstrates Electricité de Tahiti’s progressive approach when it comes to energy innovation and long-term sustainability.

“The combination of intelligently-designed battery solutions and VSG technology can help utility and industrial customers lower greenhouse gas emissions while also increasing grid reliability. It’s great to work with a global technology company like Siemens on a unique solution that can help EDT achieve their sustainability goals,” said Mr Hong.

Emphasising the critical role of Kokam’s Battery Energy Storage System in reducing fuel consumption without risk to grid stability, François-Xavier de Froment, Chief Executive Officer of EDT for ENGIE said, “Through the VSG technology, EDT acts on its desire to decarbonise electricity production and contributes to the shift to carbon neutrality in French Polynesia.”

Importantly, the grid forming VSG functionality together with specifically designed Static VAR Compensation (STATCOM), 16 Mvar of the SINAMICS S120 enables the power conversion system technology to provide grid support functionality. This is equivalent to the synchronous services and reactive power capabilities traditionally provided by a synchronous generator.

Kokam selected the Siemens SINAMICS S120 power conversion system as it provides grid support functionality not only for active power and frequency stability, but also provides dynamic power support to the Tahiti network’s voltage stability. Manufacturing and testing of the system is currently under way with the project expected to go live in late 2022.