Under the Accelerating Renewable Energy Integration and Sustainable Energy (ARISE) project, supported by the World Bank, Maldives is seeking contractors for installation of 40 MWh capacity Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS), across 18 electricity grids representing 19 islands/cities. A pre-qualification tender has been rolled out earlier, in July 2022 for this procurement. However, due to unfavourable outcomes the pre-qualification process has been cancelled and the Government is proceeding for a direct tender.
The BESS installations will support high renewable energy penetration for the island grids and ensure efficient operation of existing diesel generators needed in a solar PV/Diesel hybrid generation mix. Funding support for installation of BESS include a US$ 23 million concessional loan to the Government of Maldives, allocated from Clean Technology Fund.
Interested developers shall submit applications for tender on or before 1300 hrs Maldivian time on Thursday, 27th October 2022.
The BESS will be developed on an EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Commissioning) basis with two years of Operations and Maintenance support. The 40 MWh BESS under this tender is split in to two lots with Lot one and Lot two covering installations of 23MW/23MWh and 13.5MW/17MWh respectively. The designated island electricity grids for these systems are:
Lot one (23-MW/23-MWh BESS installation)
1. Addu City – Interconnected islands
2. Addu City – Hulhudhoo Meedhoo
3. Fuvahmulah City
4. G DH. Thinadhoo
5. Hdh Kulhudhuffushi
6. B. Eydhafushi
7. Lh. Hinnavaru
Lot two (13.5 MW/17-MWh BESS installation)
8. L. Fonadhoo
9. L. Gan
10. L. Isdhoo/Kalaidhoo/Dhanbidhoo
11. L. Maabaidhoo
12. L. Maamendhoo
13. L. Kunahandhoo
14. L. Hithadhoo
15. L. Maavah
16. Lh. Naifaru
17. GA. Villingili
18. Sh. Funadhoo
Under separate contracts, PV systems are also being developed in the same islands on an independent power purchase (IPP) basis, through ARISE and ASPIRE (also an initiative of WB in Maldives ongoing since 2014) projects.
While ASPIRE project addresses the need to increase PV generation in Maldives through private sector investment, Maldives envisions an ambitious goal of “carbon neutrality by 2030” along with an immediate target for 2023 to increase the share of renewable energy by 20% compared to 2018 levels. This necessitates supportive storage technologies along with modernization and upgrading of the existing grid infrastructures, in addition to increasing renewable energy capacity.
Hence, building on the efforts of the ASPIRE initiative, during December 2020 WB approved ARISE project for Maldives to further accelerate the country’s energy transition and also support a sustainable post COVID-19 recovery.
The ARISE project includes a target of bringing in 36 MW of new solar PV installations with an estimated cumulative 50MWh of Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS), and grid infrastructure upgrades. The works will draw on a mix of loan and grant financing mobilized through the project.
Renewable energy supportive policies and programs of Maldivian Government has set PV growth on an upward trend over the past decade. The installed solar PV capacity has reached 21.52 MW in 2019 from 1.64MW in 2009. Currently the energy from renewables make only 4% of the national energy mix and therefore significant growth is required to meet the ambitious renewable energy goals of Maldives.