Named ‘Te Mana o te Ra’ – meaning ‘the power from the sun’ – the 961 kilowatt (kW) photovoltaic array will be made up of about 3800 panels.
“When completed, the Te Mana o te Ra solar array will generate 5 per cent of Rarotonga’s electricity needs – providing a significant boost to renewable energy in the Cook Islands,” said McCully.
The Minister said New Zealand has invested $3.3 million in the project as part of the European Union and New Zealand Energy Access Partnership.
“The contact for carrying out this work has been awarded to New Zealand company Infratec Renewables Ltd (formerly NETcon International), with significant construction and electrical works being carried out by local Cook Islands sub-contractors.”
The project commenced construction a few weeks ago and is due to be commissioned by October.
New Zealand companies SolarCity, AECOM, and Industrial Controls South Canterbury are supporting Infratec in delivering the project.
Local businesses Mike Rennie Builders Ltd and Andersons Ltd will be doing the civil construction and DC electrical works, respectively.