Tenesol has completed construction of New Caledonia’s first ground-mounted PV system. The 2.1MW plant, which is owned by Helios Bay and situated on the coast near Nouméa, has nearly 10,000 PV panels and can generate three million kilowatt hours of electricity per year – enough to power 1,000 households.
“Our goal was to find a partner capable of managing all phases of the project, from manufacturing right through to maintenance, to avoid any nasty surprises,” said Olivier Charles, co-manager of Helios Bay. “Tenesol has a long history in New Caledonia and is a major player in the PV sector. And it is one of the few companies we found that could handle all aspects for us, from designing the PV solution through to the production of modules. This gave us the confidence to invest.”
Tenesol has been operating in New Caledonia for 20 years – creating the Pacific island’s first PV installation, on a toll station in Tina, in 2007 – and started work on the 17,000m² Helios Bay plant in May 2009. Four months later the project was completed, before being connected to the grid this May.
“This large scale development is another demonstration of the 26 years of expertise we have working in some of the world’s most demanding of terrains”, says Emmanuel Vincent, general manger of Tenesol New Caledonia. “Ground-mounted systems present unique challenges for reliable and timely construction, particularly when located near to a coastline. We are delighted to have completed this project, which is the first ground-mounted system of its size in the entire region, even in Australia, there is no equivalent. We are hoping its success will act as a catalyst for further developments.”
Energy produced by the on-grid system will be purchased by New Caledonia’s leading electricity supplier, Enercal.