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Cook Islands MV-LV Project

Infratec Limited is to deliver another Asian Development Bank (ADB) project in the Cook Islands. This $3.9m project will upgrade the medium and low voltage networks on two islands in the Cook Islands.

The network upgrades are for the islands of Mauke and Mitiaro, two of the Southern Group of the Cook Islands. The upgrades will complement new solar/ battery systems as part of another ADB funded project for the Cook Islands.

Infratec has installed sustainable renewable energy systems around the world from Afghanistan to Tuvalu and New Zealand. The ADB contract will be held by NETcon, Infratec’s parent company.

Infratec General Manager-Business Development Luke van Zeller says the project, which will facilitate the delivery of electricity from the solar PV and battery storage system, will provide the islands’ residents more reliable power supply.

The systems have been designed to supply nearly all the electricity requirements of each island. Currently, the islands’ electricity is supplied solely by diesel generators.

“About 95 per cent of grid electricity supplying each island will be generated by solar panels. Any excess power created when demand is low will be stored in batteries for later use.”

Back-up generators have also been included into the energy mix for when solar generation is unable to meet peak demand due to weather conditions.

Mr Luke van Zeller says that Infratec are excited to be working with the Cook Island Government and the ADB on another project which will improve the lives of Cook Islanders.

“These projects will deliver lasting benefits for the whole community. This includes working alongside the community to build their knowledge and skill-base so they can operate and maintain the systems long-term.

“Our work with the local island communities is a crucial aspect to the success of the project.”

Infratec’s approach reduces reliance and dependency on external short-term “expat” resources and empowers the islands to manage their power supply.

According to the Chief of Staff of the Office of the Prime Minister for the Cook Islands, Bredina Drollet "The Government is extremely pleased to partner with NETcon to progress on its policy objective of transforming the electricity needs of the country towards 100% renewable energy by 2020 and the signing of this contract is a significant milestone in this journey."