The Cook Islands Government set renewable energy targets in 2010 to transform the energy sector to renewable energy. Aitutaki has historically been solely reliant on diesel generation for electricity, which is expensive, has high maintenance costs and is not environmentally friendly.
High sunshine hours and flat land near the Aitutaki power station means that solar electricity is an ideal way for Aitutaki to reduce its carbon footprint and move towards renewable generation.
Due to the generation profile of solar, Vector Powersmart installed 737 kWp solar photovoltaic (PV) system and 500kWh battery storage system (BESS) to smooth the network loads and to maintain an even voltage. For Aitutaki, the battery was designed primarily to provide energy stability rather than for energy storage.
Aitutaki Power is now enjoying generous savings per year from diesel costs and maintenance. The solar power combined with the battery is limiting the need for diesel generators; one generator is all that is needed to supply electricity to the island, compared to two or three generators in the past.
"Working with Vector Powersmart is one of the highlights of this project."
Long Tuiravakai – General Manager – Te Mana Uira O Araura