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Cook Islands solar energy projects opened

13 May 2015

Media Statement

Cook Islands solar energy projects opened

Foreign Minister Murray McCully and Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna have officially opened solar arrays on the Northern Cook islands of Penrhyn and Manihiki this week, and marked the completion of the Cook Islands Solar Project.

“The new solar arrays will provide over 95 per cent of the electricity needs for the villages they connect to, and deliver power to more than 230 homes and public buildings,” Mr McCully says.

“The completion of these projects in Penrhyn and Manihiki will mark the final stage of a $20.5 million investment in solar energy in the Cook Islands, which has already seen the development of solar arrays on Rakahanga, Pukapuka, Nassau, and Palmerston.

"Together these projects will save approximately 230,000 litres of imported diesel per year, and free up Cook Island government funds for other development priorities.

“Since hosting the Pacific Energy Summit in 2013 New Zealand has been supporting a major push to increase the uptake of renewable energy in the Pacific. Our work in the Cook Islands is part of a wider $100 million investment renewable energy across seven Pacific countries,” Mr McCully says.

The Minister is currently in the Northern Cook islands accompanied by a cross-Parliamentary delegation which includes, the Rt Hon Winston Peters, David Shearer MP, and Pacific Economic Ambassador Shane Jones.

Details of the new arrays:

On Penrhyn: The Omoka (504 solar panels) and Te Tautua (168 solar panels) renewable energy sites will generate up to 126kW and 42kW respectively

On Manihiki: The Tukao (546 solar panels) and Tauhunu (588 solar panels) renewable energy sites will generate up to 136kW and 147kW respectively.

ends

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