17 Jun 2013

Cook Islands Pukapuka and Nassau set to go solar

6:03 am on 17 June 2013

Funding has been approved for a renewable energy project for the outer Cook Islands of Pukapuka and Nassau.

Tenders are now being invited for the project, funded by the Japanese government and the Pacific Islands Forum, which will see contractors install solar panels and batteries on the islands and link them to the electricity network.

The director of renewable energy development for the Cook Islands government, Tangi Tereapii, says the islands currently rely on diesel generators which are only used for a part of each day.

He says the solar panels will change that.

"This will be a 24 hour supply for the islands. As we know the supply is only for 10-12 hours a day and we'll be lucky if there's enough diesel on the islands that can operate on and off throughout the month."

Tangi Tereapii says he hopes a contractor will be appointed over the next month and the project is expected to be completed in October.