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Rarotonga Airport

Improving grid stability

type

type

Battery Storage

specs

specs

10.5 MWh BESS

year

year

2020

location

location

Cook Islands

the challenge

Rarotonga is the largest island in the Cook Islands and the centre for international tourism. Historically, all electricity generation on the island has come from diesel generators managed by Te Aponga Uira (TAU), Rarotonga’s power company. Over the last decade, there has been a steady increase in the number of solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in Rarotonga, which has increased the island’s renewable electricity generation to about 8% of total generation.

As solar generation increased, it became harder for TAU to maintain a constant voltage on the network, because smaller diesel generator networks are particularly susceptible to fluctuations from renewable generation, causing power and voltage surges. In 2019, TAU made a decision to halt all new solar generation assets on the electricity network in Rarotonga.

the solution

In 2020 , Vector Powersmart installed and completed a 2MW/10.5 MWh utility scale battery to provide dynamic power capacity to the network to mitigate fluctuations from solar PV generation. The battery also helps maintain electricity frequency on the network within the target range and provides voltage support.

the outcome

TAU now has the capacity to increase its renewable generation on the network as Rarotonga looks to further reduce its reliance on imported fossil fuels.