• Cook Islands became home to the Mangaia Solar Power Plant in Mangaia island in the country
  • It will provide clean and affordable energy to about 500 people on the island
  • The project is co-financed by the ADB under Cook Islands Renewable Energy project along with other partners and the federal government
  • Country’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Management says the project capacity of each of the solar power plants under the Renewable Energy Project is around 3 MW
  • In May 2018 and August 2018, solar power plants were commissioned on the islands of Mitiaro and Atiu, respectively

The Prime Minister of Cook Islands, Henry Puna officially launched a solar power plant in his country on November 29, 2018 with the help of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) which will provide clean energy to about 500 people.

Mangaia Solar Power Plant, on the island of Mangaia, is the third PV project to come online under the Cook Islands Renewable Energy Sector Project. Previous 2 plants were commissioned in Mitiaro in May 2018 and in Atiu in August 2018. One more plant will come up in Mauke, under the project and when it does, 8% of the country’s population or around 1,500 people will have access to clean and affordable electricity.

While ADB’s official release announcing the commissioning of Mangaia Solar Power Plant doesn’t mention its capacity, information on Cook Islands’ Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM) reads says each of the solar power plant established under the project will have approximately 3 MW capacity each.

ADB and the Government of Cook Islands, along with the Government of Japan’s Pacific Environment Community Funds, European Union (EU), Global Climate Fund (GCF), and Global Environment Facility (GEF) are funding establishment of solar power plants on 5 islands in the country. In November 2017, a solar power plant with energy storage secured $12 million financing from the GCF (see $12 Million Grant For PV Project In Cook Islands).

The project is assisting the government to develop an energy efficiency policy implementation plan and training will be provided to government staff working with solar battery energy storage systems, said ADB.

Cook Islands is looking up to solar power to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and deliver renewable energy to all its islands by 2020 with 5 solar powered power plants.