Projects ahead - Te Aponga Uira
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Projects ahead

Projects ahead

Careful steps are being taken to optimise existing power system assets as well as new investments in generation, storage, grid stability and customer control assets.


In November 2016 TAU will release its Stage 2:  Rarotonga Renewable Energy Implementation Plan by 2020 and Beyond outlining its Investment Plan to achieve and successfully maintain the Government of the Cook Islands goal of 100% renewable energy over a 15 year horizon.


In the meantime TAU has some exciting projects that are currently being investigated.  Check out our fast-track projects below and let us know if you are keen to partner with us on this exciting journey to 100% renewable.




Compared to high penetration Solar PV, Wind generation offers a significantly less expensive investment as the generation profile better matches load (thus reducing the requirements for load shifting storage), and so is retained for consideration as a key RE generation source for Rarotonga.  TAU requires the following inputs:


  • Identification and securing suitable sites
  • Plant specifications to match operational requirements and site conditions
  • Design and build Wind generation plant(s) to increase RE generation contribution on TAU network



Time Shift Storage


Storage will play an important role in TAU achieving very high penetration from Solar PV & Wind generation.  Time shift storage is required to better manage the supply of electricity from high penetration nondispatchable generation to match consumer demand.  A combination of central and distributed time shift storage is being considered by TAU.


Depending on the generation source, it is likely Rarotonga will need at least 5MW/20MWh in storage.  TAU needs support in designing and acquiring time shift storage systems as well as developing and discharging of storage systems, in conjunction with TAU connection requirements.


Grid Stability Battery


TAU will need to address challenges associated with grid stability as intermittent RE penetration increases beyond current levels.


The systems for grid stability would respond very quickly to intermittent generation by either supplying or absorbing power to smooth out rapid changes in (effective) load associated with changes in distributed generation output on the network.


TAU needs support in developing specifications and defining TAU grid stability criteria at higher levels of generation as well as acquiring the technologies.  Having this system in place will ensure continued growth in RE penetration does not compromise the safe and reliable electricity supply Rarotonga.


Smart Metering


With growing intermittent renewable generation distributed around its network, and the introduction of SCADA, there is an immediate need for TAU to be able to communicate as well as control loads and generation across its network to maintain reliability.  This requires communication infrastructure between the power station and generating sites at low cost.


TAU needs technical support in exploring options and then putting the required infrastructure in place.


Having this infrastructure in place will also provide a platform for smart metering and associated customer usage management and control applications promoting energy efficiency.


Bio Fuel Testing


Following an entire Power Station upgrade and the installation of 5 high speed generators to better respond to unconstrained renewable generation on Rarotonga, TAU will be progressing Bio Fuel testing using its older generators – and will do so through its live power system.


What is required is holding tanks for bio fuels as well as configuring the connection times from tank to generator.


This is an exciting opportunity to lift Rarotonga to 100% and in doing so Rarotonga will consider partnering with other Pacific Island Countries seeking to also test theses technologies or their own bio fuel industry supply on a live power system.