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Solar-Plus-Storage for the Cook Islands

September 16, 2020


Around 4.2 MWh of energy storage capacity will be connected to a solar and diesel micro-grid on Rarotonga, the largest of the islands in the South Pacific nation. Three 40-foot containers with a total power output of 4.8 MVA will be used as a power reserve and for grid support by utility Te Aponga Uira.

Germany-based Rolls-Royce Power Systems, which is owned by Rolls-Royce Holdings with holdings in engine manufacturing brands and facilities, will supply three MTU EnergyPacks for use with a micro-grid in Rarotonga, the largest and most populous of the Cook Islands.

The company said all of Rarotonga’s 11,000 residents receive power from the micro-grid operated by utility Te Aponga Uira and the 4.2 MWh energy storage system – in three 40-foot containers with a total power output of 4.8 MVA – will provide a power reserve and grid support for the solar and diesel-powered network.

The storage developer claims the MTU Energypack is ideal for deployment in sites where space is at a premium and logistics demanding, for the integration of renewables facilities into power networks and the provision of frequency regulation and other ancillary services to utilities. The containers are available in three formats with nominal capacities of 2,600, 1,000 and 550 kWh. Rolls Royce said the battery system comprises scalable vertical racks.

The Cook Islands government wants renewable energy on all its islands by 2025. The authorities plan to roll out solar plants on five islands, part-funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB); European UnionGlobal Environment Fund; the government of Japan via the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (Pacific Environment Community Fund, or PEC); and the Green Climate Fund, through the ADB’s Pacific Islands Renewable Energy Investment Program.

The low-lying archipelago, one of the nations on the climate change front line, had just 7 MW of solar generation capacity at the end of 2019, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

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