Staff from TAU toured the ‘Te Mana O Te Ra’ solar project under construction at the Rarotonga International Airport to gain an insight into the $3.3 million project.
The solar project involves the installation of 3051 photovoltaic panels, capable of producing up to 960 kilowatts, or about five per cent of Rarotonga’s energy needs.
After a safety briefing TAU staff were escorted through the construction site where they learned about the photovoltaic panels and how this will be connected to the grid to work in conjunction with SCAD electronic panels already in place.
Staff also learned the basics of converting direct current (DC) into alternative current (AC) for electronic devices.
Te Mana O Te Ra is expected to be completed by the end of the month.
New Zealand company Infratec Renewables Ltd (formerly NETcon International) is the main contractor but local business Mike Rennie Builders Ltd is doing the civil construction.
Andersons Ltd are doing all the electrical work in the multi-million dollar project, including hooking up the 11,000-volt transformer which feeds power into the grid.
The solar installation will lead to an estimated reduction of 370,000 litres of diesel fuel imports per year, worth about $529,100 in savings.