Solomon Islands has been awarded a USD15 million concessional loan for Tina Hydro Project by the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA.

The award was announced during IRENA’s 2017 Assembly in Abu Dhabi last weekend. It is the first concessional loan to be approved in support to Tina Hydro, which is the largest renewable energy project ever in Solomon Islands and the largest renewable project currently being developed in the Pacific.

The Tina Hydro will provide access to renewable energy for more than 100,000 people in the greater Honiara region and has been under preparation since 2011 with donor support primarily from Australia and the World Bank.

Tina Hydro is also the priority project for the Solomon Islands sustainable national development as it is expected to offset 100 per cent of the national determined contributions to climate emissions by 2025.

The Hydro project will provide more than 200 jobs during construction and once complete will offset more than 44,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum in diesel emissions.

The IRENA funding represents the first concessional funding approved for Tina Hydro. By mid 2017, further decisions on concessional finance are expected from Green Climate Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Economic Development Cooperation Fund of Korea.

Out of 79 global applications, Tina is one of only four which received funded in this IRENA funding cycle, representing an achievement in terms of quality preparation.

The proposal for IRENA funding was prepared by the Solomon Islands Government over a period of two year since 2015 via the Tina Project Office of the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification (MMERE) and the Debt Management Unit of Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MOFT).

The approval of the IRENA funds for the Tina Project represents a milestone towards achievement of this priority project for Solomon Islands.