Environment, quality and safety

Helio Tontouta

On Tuesday, February 18, 2020, the government of New Caledonia authorized the operation of two new photovoltaic power plants, including one in Païta, on the public airport domain of La Tontouta: Hélio Tontouta.

This decision follows the government's call for projects (as part of the multi-year investment program) for the development and operation of innovative solar energy electricity production facilities.

This project, led by TotalEnergies Renouvelables Pacific's Pacific agency, with strong support from the CCI-NC, is a 3 MWc photovoltaic power plant. Part of the plant includes a solar carport in the public parking area of the airport, while another part is deployed on the ground nearby.

The project also includes the installation of two electric vehicle charging stations. It serves as a showcase for demonstrating New Caledonia's ambitions in terms of energy transition and combating climate change.

The scale and characteristics of the project, its location, and the synergy it offers with airport activities make Hélio Tontouta an ambitious and unique achievement.


Crédit photo : Pixair

Why this project ?

Encouraged by the New Caledonia Energy Transition Plan (STENC) adopted in 2016, which sets the ambitious goal of achieving 100% public distribution of electricity from renewable sources by 2030, the New Caledonia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI-NC) and TotalEnergies Renouvelables Pacific have implemented photovoltaic canopies in the public parking area of Noumea-La Tontouta International Airport.

This technology is well mastered by TotalEnergies Renouvelables Pacific, which currently operates over 350 renewable energy production sites, totaling more than 1 GW, including 50 MWc in New Caledonia.

The ambition of CCI-NC is to be a driving force in the energy transition of New Caledonia, which is why it has supported this proposal from the beginning, which offers the following advantages:

Innovative service:

  • A megastructure covering 517 parking spaces, a first in New Caledonia and the Pacific region.
  • Implementation of a specific technology that meets airport standards, with photovoltaic panels manufactured with anti-reflective coating.
  • A service that promotes the development of eco-mobility in Tontouta, particularly within the framework of the Inter-Enterprise Mobility Plan of the airport platform, "Tontouta'mouv," the first PDIE launched in New Caledonia in 2017.

Enhanced comfort for the public:

  • The service provides shade in the public parking area (91% of the total capacity of 570 spaces), offering a better experience for passengers and their companions.
  • Unprecedented contribution to optimize the passenger experience and the attractiveness of the airport.

A high-impact eco-responsible service:

  • The largest parking shade structure at an airport in the Pacific region.
  • At the gateway to the territory, a showcase of the energy supply model chosen by the government to achieve the ambitious goals of its energy transition plan.
  • Located in a high-energy-consuming area of strong economic activity, the service showcases a modern and sustainable image.

Crédit photo : Bryan Gauvan

Key figures of the Hélio Inno 1 project:

The photovoltaic panels at the airport have the following characteristics:

  • Installed capacity: 3 MWc
  • Annual theoretical production: 4,654 MWh, equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of a thousand inhabitants of New Caledonia.
  • Electricity purchase contract duration: 25 years
  • Annual CO2 savings: 5,030 tonnes
  • Total number of photovoltaic panels: 7,590
  • Total project area: 2.5 hectares

The solar panels are installed in two areas of the airport concession:

  • Covering the public parking area with a surface area of nearly 8,000 m².
  • On the ground, on an unoccupied area of the concession not included in the General Composition Plan of the platform, covering 15,000 m².

TotalEnergies Renouvelables Pacific and its Pacific agency:

As a pioneer in renewable energy in France, TotalEnergies Renouvelables Pacific develops, builds, and operates renewable energy production facilities (wind, solar, hydroelectric) with a strong presence in mainland France and overseas territories. Currently, TotalEnergies Renouvelables Pacific operates over 350 renewable energy production sites, totaling more than 1 GW, capable of producing 1,675 GWh of renewable electricity annually. This is equivalent to the annual consumption of nearly one and a half million people and a saving of nearly 560,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year.

Present in New Caledonia for over 20 years, TotalEnergies Renouvelables Pacific is the leading autonomous producer of 100% renewable electricity in New Caledonia. By the end of 2021, the Pacific agency will manage a portfolio of 13 solar power plants and 1 wind power plant (Koumac, Piin Patch, Témala, Wabéalo, Plaine des Gaïacs, Moindah, Popidéry, Boulouparis 1 and 2, Bakia, Tamoa, Yaté, Tiéa Energie, and Tontouta). Nearly 140,000 people in New Caledonia use green energy produced by TotalEnergies Renouvelables Pacific.

The New Caledonia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI-NC), manager of Noumea-La Tontouta Airport:

As the manager of New Caledonia's international airport, the CCI-NC's mission is to operate, maintain, renew, and develop all necessary public infrastructure for the airport's operation.

The Chamber aims to fulfill its mission in a sustainable manner and be a driving force in the energy transition of New Caledonia, providing real solutions to environmental and economic challenges in our island context.

Three sustainable action axes:

  1. Accelerating its own transformation in this field and reducing the airport's greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. Becoming a showcase for energy transition, as Tontouta is a major entry point to the territory.
  3. Prioritizing investments that create long-term value:
  • Developing initiatives in line with the New Caledonia Energy Transition Plan (STENC)
  • Managing airport electricity expenses
  • Improving energy efficiency of the buildings
  • Diversifying the energy mix
  • Contributing to future "clean" mobility
  • Enhancing service for airport users and consequently improving customer satisfaction.

Since 2016, the CCI-NC has pursued an ambitious eco-responsible policy to control and reduce the environmental impact of its activities and make the airport a showcase for sustainable development through innovative projects.

Three strong commitments:

  • Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) Level 2 Certification: In January 2019, Noumea-La Tontouta Airport achieved the "Airport Carbon Accreditation" certification, the only globally recognized program for managing carbon emissions at airports. The Level 2 accreditation (renewed in January 2020 and 2021) recognizes the efforts made by the airport through its carbon management plan, greenhouse gas emission reduction objectives, and action plan to achieve these objectives. This resulted in an effective reduction of greenhouse gas emissions per passenger by 18% between 2016 and 2019 (the target was 13%). 
  • PDIE Tontouta Mouv': In 2017, the airport implemented the first Intercompany Mobility Plan (PDIE) in New Caledonia. It involves professional users of the airport, including 13 establishments and 800 employees. The objective is to reduce the reliance on individual cars within the airport premises and for commuting purposes. This is achieved through initiatives such as providing electric bicycles and implementing shared shuttles.
  • Optimization of airport waste management: Since 2018, selective waste sorting has been implemented among professional users of the airport platform, and since March 2019, it has been extended to the terminal. In 2019, this initiative diverted the following materials from landfill to recycling:
    • 610 kg of glass
    • 52 kg of aluminum
    • 1.12 tonne of scrap metal
    • 21 tonnes of paper/cardboard.