Quick tour of New Caledonia: renewables have a bright future

Our international projects / Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

New Caledonia is a French territory in the Pacific about 1,210 km (750 mi) east of Australia. When it comes to the energy transition, the island is keen to lead by example and expand the use of renewables, like solar. Here are a few examples of off-grid lighting solutions we’ve installed as part of New Caledonia’s STENC* energy transition programme.

*Schéma pour la Transition Énergétique de la Nouvelle-Calédonie (New Caledonia energy transition scheme)

Urban solar lighting in operation

Fonroche solar lighting solutions are perfectly suited to New Caledonia’s climate, since all components are designed to withstand high wind loads and the damp maritime air mass.

Safety for local residents

We start our tour northwest of the capital Nouméa in a village called La Tontouta, which is home to the island’s international airport and named after a nearby coastal river. La Tontouta lies on one of the island’s main road arteries. It’s mainly residential and offers a green, leafy living environment.

Solar lighting for the Martinez housing development in La Tontouta.

Fonroche has installed off-grid solar streetlights in one of La Tontouta’s residential neighbourhoods. They play a dual role: raising living standards and improving security, especially to help combat vandalism. The local council says residents have expressed real satisfaction with the powerful spread of light.

The island’s new roads lit by solar

Another 220 km (140 mi) northwest along the main highway, we arrive at Koné. The administrative centre of the North Province, it’s home to a host of industries and has grown rapidly in recent years. To keep pace with this expansion, new roads have been built, which need public lighting.

Fonroche recently installed off-grid streetlights at a roundabout at the entrance to an industrial park. Our easy-to-install solution meant there was no need for civil engineering work, cable laying or grid connection.

Roundabout in Koné, with solar lighting 365 nights a year.

We’ve also completed other sustainable lighting projects in New Caledonia, such as lighting around a landfill site on Maré Island and a solution for a Nouméa police station.

Energy management in New Caledonia

Renewables the top priority

Producing energy on an island with a rich and unique biodiversity is no mean feat. Nor is distributing it fairly.

Nonetheless, the government is committed to push ahead with the energy transition and expand the use of clean energies such as solar. This determination is enshrined in the STENC programme. Adopted in June 2016, it sets out New Caledonia’s energy strategy to 2030. By this deadline, three objectives need to be met:

  • Reduce energy consumption and related expenditure.
  • Increase the share of renewables in the mix to reduce the island’s energy dependence.
  • Reduce greenhouse emissions to help combat climate change.

For all these reasons, solar lighting has a key role to play and a bright future in New Caledonia. Do you have an urban project? Get in touch!