MPower connects Cook Islands

Tuesday, 13 June, 2017

MPower has been awarded the contract to build a large-scale energy storage system in Rarotonga, the capital of the Cook Islands.

MPower will design and install a 5.6 MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) at the 1 MW Te Mana Ra Solar PV facility connected to the Pacific nation’s electricity grid. The BESS is intended to provide increased flexibility for the island’s electricity utility to manage the increasing renewable generation feeding into the grid.

With financing from the Asian Development Bank, European Union and Global Environmental Fund, the NZ$4.3 million lithium-ion storage solution is a key element of the Government of the Cook Islands’ Renewable Energy Sector Project.

Meeting the unique challenges of the location and delivering a solution that can be easily maintained by local operators were key factors in the government’s award of the contract to MPower.

MPower’s system will be physically and operationally modular and capable of standing up to high temperatures, humidity, corrosive environments and seasonal storms.

The Cook Islands’ size and geographical location have traditionally seen it dependent on diesel-power stations, which are not only becoming progressively expensive, but also have an environmental impact. Both the Te Mana Ra Solar PV facility and the associated energy storage system are necessary components in the transition to renewable energy.

This project is MPower’s largest energy storage project to date. At 5.6 MWh, it’s larger than any grid-connect energy storage system operating in Australia, but at a distance of 5000 kilometres it’s the furthest from MPower’s facility in New South Wales.

“MPower’s central role in this landmark large-scale energy storage project is a testament to the skill and capability that has been developed,” said Nathan Wise, CEO of Tag Pacific Limited, MPower’s ASX-listed parent company.

After the system is designed and built, MPower will work with a local contractor on the installation to bring employment to the region; when delivered, the system will be one of the largest solar energy storage systems in the Pacific.

“We’re pleased to be able to deliver new-era energy to the Cook Islands, employing the latest technologies and building on the renewables program that is well underway.”

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