After much anticipation, Rakahanga made Cook Islands history on Wednesday by becoming the first island in the Cook Islands to be virtually 100 per cent solar powered.
Field staff who are required to assist in the set out and maintenance of civil work sites including road works along with local technicians are among a group taking advantage of the ‘survey and set out’ short course on offer at the Faculty of Trades and Technology.
This week, Rarotonga’s largest-ever renewable energy plant went online – adding considerable momentum to the Government’s goal of having the Cook Islands 100 per cent powered by renewable energy by 2020.
With the flip of two switches at the nation’s largest renewable power installation, the Cook Islands is now on its way to loosening its reliance on imported fossil fuels.
The Cook Islands is set to loosen some of its dependency on fossil fuels.
Prime Minister Henry Puna and New Zealand High Commissioner hits the switch on the ‘Te Mana o Te Ra’ solar project today. During an opening ceremony dignitaries are expected to gather together at the airport to mark the completion of the renewable energy project. Officials say it has the potential to provide nearly one megawatt in capacity – roughly five per cent of Rarotonga’s electricity needs.
Consisting of over 3000 solar panels, the installation will be operated by Te Aponga Uira staff (pictured here during a training session last week). Te Mana o Te Ra (Power from the Sun) is funded by New Zealand under the European Union / New Zealand Energy Access Partnership.
Biodiversity world expert and author Dr Daniel Robinson has hailed a Cook Islands’ project developed by Dr Graham Matheson, as ‘best practice’ to international experts. Dr Robinson acknowledged CIMTECH (Cook Islands Medical Technologies) and its practices at recent biodiversity conferences held in Nadi and Auckland. Dr Robinson, the author of ‘Confronting Biopiracy – Challenges, Causes and International Debates’ held up the CIMTECH model as an example to other countries for the development of products of biodiversity and traditional knowledge. The CIMTECH project is a venture between Dr Matheson, the Koutu Nui and the University of NSW, Sydney, Australia and has developed products from traditional Cook Islands plants. After nearly 10 years of research, the first product is due to be launched in August as premium, natural skin care brand, TeTika. TeTika is dedicated to honouring former president of the Koutu Nui, Dorice Reid who inspired and supported the project.