Cook Islands Outer Island Renewable Energy Program
The Cook Islands Outer Island Renewable Energy Program is an ambitious initiative of the Cook Islands' Government that will reduce the operation and maintenance costs associated with power supply on three outer islands; increase supply reliability and energy security; increase the use of local resources; and promote opportunities for rural energy service companies and local manufacturers to supply equipment and human resources for project design, implementation, management and maintenance.
This will be achieved through the deployment of large scale stand-alone solar photovoltaic generators, with battery storage and diesel genset backup (to provide less than 5% of annual demand). The project has involved the design of standardised energy systems across the outer islands which can be integrated into national supply policy. To this end, Ekistica has prepared:
- Power sector reports for each island
- Comprehensive feasibility assessments for each of the systems and all of the systems as a whole
- Environmental impact assessments for each site/system; a gender analysis of the relevant gender and energy issues associated with the proposed RE projects on the northern group islands
- A design process which has involved consumer identification, demand assessment and forecasting, development of technical design principles and system architecture, capacity determination, technical and structural design, site surveys and selection, detailed system design and specification, documentation and tender preparation.
Additional to the technical design of the various power systems, Ekistica was engaged to provide overarching policy advice and regulatory reform frameworks to the Government of Cook Islands. This involved detailed assessment of existing regulatory structures and economic modelling of various tariff models that would support the long term objectives and prosperity of all Cook Islanders.
This project has undergone some changes in its administrative structure since it was initiated in 2012 and is now being managed directly by NZMFAT in collaboration with the Government of the Cook Islands, with procurement underway and installation are currently underway and expected to be completed by June 2015. Ekistica has been further engaged to provide monitoring, supervision and quality assurance services to the installation and commissioning process.