There is a growing frustration amongst residents of Pukapuka over the ongoing power failure issue affecting the northern group island for the past two years.
told Cook Islands News issues with solar batteries and a faulty generator
caused the ongoing power failure on the island.
resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said the island didn’t have a backupgenerator.
said the authorities on the island claimed the solar batteries were fine “but
there’s something wrong with the system that shut the power off”.
we live without power at night, we used our generators for backup. Some
families don’t have generators.”
resident claimed the authorities’ inability to fully replace the faulty solar
batteries had disrupted regular power supply on the island.
started as a minor issue with solar batteries two years ago and I believe only
some batteries were replaced. Late last year there was some problem with the
(diesel) generator as well,” the resident said.
have been getting power at odd hours, sometimes from midnight till 11am. Even
on some sunny day there is no power. The longest we have been without power was
I would like to have power in the mornings for breakfast, washing clothes and
other chores. Most of my electrical appliances have gone bad (faulty) because
of irregular power supply.”
resident said the frozen goods including ice cream and other perishables that
arrived by boat for Christmas and New Year had to be consumed before the
getting worse, it’s unbelievable and really frustrating.”
Islands Government said the power failures on the island have been ongoing and
systemic with both the PV solar battery and diesel generator unable to meet the
of the Prime Minister spokesperson Jaewynn McKay said: “Government is looking
into options for a new GenSet but ultimately will look to the battery
replacement programme to address current and future needs.”
executive officer Pio Ravarua said they had replaced some of the defective
said with the country now in cyclone season “there are more rain and cloudy
periods and sometimes we’re not getting enough sun to store energy for solar
said electricity usage has also increased over the years with an increase in
electrical appliances being used by the residents.
funding was approved for the Pukapuka Nassau renewable energy project in 2013,
the islands were promised of a constant 24-hour supply of renewable energy.
an interview with RNZ in 2013, the director of Renewable Energy Development
Tangi Tereapii, said: “This will be a 24-hour supply for the islands. As we
know the supply now is only for 10, 12 hours a day, and we’ll be lucky if
there's enough diesel on the island that can operate on and off throughout the
project will provide all the necessities for the households. So it’s not like
before where they’re limited. So now it’s an open opportunity for them to use
electricity spread over 24 hours and also an opportunity for them to consider
energy conservation at the same time.”