Solar project feeding Raro’s grid

Saturday October 18, 2014 Written by Published in Technology
Prime Minister Henry Puna and New Zealand High Commissioner Joanna Kempkers tightening the final bolts on one of over 3000 solar panels included in the Te Mana o Te Ra solar project. 14101512 Prime Minister Henry Puna and New Zealand High Commissioner Joanna Kempkers tightening the final bolts on one of over 3000 solar panels included in the Te Mana o Te Ra solar project. 14101512

This week, Rarotonga’s largest-ever renewable energy plant went online – adding considerable momentum to the Government’s goal of having the Cook Islands 100 per cent powered by renewable energy by 2020.

Named, ‘Te Mana o Te Ra’ – which means, ‘The Power of The Sun’ – the solar plant  is made up of over 3000 panels, and designed to provide nearly 1 megawatt of energy for Rarotonga – approximately five per cent of the island’s needs.
At an opening ceremony on Wednesday at Rarotonga International Airport, Prime Minister Henry Puna and New Zealand High Commissioner Joanna Kempkers turned the system on to begin feeding energy into the grid.
In addition to Te Mana o Te Ra, construction is also underway on the government’s $20.5 million renewable energy project for six islands in the Northern Group.
Known as Te Huira Natura ki Tokerau – ‘Natural Energy to the North’ -  the project will see eight solar-diesel hybrid power systems installed on Penrhyn, Manihiki, Rakahanga, Pukapuka, Nassau, and Palmerston.

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