TAU LOOKS TO PURCHASE 4MW PRIVATELY GENERATED SOLAR ENERGY
Te Aponga Uira (TAU) is pleased to advise the re‐opening of its Renewable Energy Programme.
For those patiently waiting, that wait is over and TAU is ready to receive expressions of interest (EOIs) under the TAU 4MW Solar Programme, says Chairman Mata Nooroa. The programme looks to source solar power from Independent Power Producers (IPPs) on Rarotonga. TAU plans to secure Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for 4MW of solar energy from the private sector by December 2022. “Pleasingly, the government has some very clear plans to increase Rarotonga’s renewable energy targets from 16 per cent to around 35 per cent in the next 12 to 24 months”, says Cook Islands Investment Corporation, Michael Henry. Further renewable energy (“RE”) development is planned, to progress Rarotonga towards 100% RE per the Cook Islands Renewable Electricity Chart.
Due to the time‐sensitivity of the project, TAU has had to adopt an aggressive programme delivery approach and will prioritise those that can meet the timeframes, to achieve the RE target for this offering. TAU will focus on offers from IPPs installing solar PV systems in the range of 20kW to 1200 kW per facility. However, TAU is mindful of the desire of its shareholder, the Cook Islands Investment Corporation, to include community/small installations and has set aside capacity for these installations. TAU will consider EOIs for small installations in certain circumstances. Under the Programme, TAU looks to purchase 100% of the solar generation from the IPP at the standard Feed in Tariff rate of $0.25 per unit. TAU has met with the banks on Rarotonga and they have indicated their interest in providing competitive financing to IPPs under TAU’s 4MW Solar Programme
This has been a long and learning journey for TAU, which has been necessary given the complex electrical engineering issues for the island’s grid. TAU is acutely aware that failing to achieve stable integration of significant solar generation with its legacy generation and network facilities, will negatively affect its customers.
We now have a clear way forward in our next step for increasing on‐island RE capability, in line with national objectives for power generation. With the added Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESSs) now in place, we have confidence that we can take on this next 4MW without endangering the stability and efficiency of the Rarotonga grid. As stated by OPM’s Director of Renewable Energy Development, Tangi Tereapii, those batteries (donor funded) will enable Rarotonga to have more solar installations, as we move towards our national 100% RE target.
TAU assures our customers that there is more to come following this RE offering of 4MW and therefore further opportunity, especially for our residential customers to participate in our national commitment to a renewable future. Customer focus, innovation and solutions‐ orientated strategies lie at the centre of TAU’s future design as we move to a high renewables scenario. Going forward, TAU will endeavour to ensure the development of a better‐informed metric and equitable access for future offerings.
For this 4MW offering, TAU has launched an online ‘Expressions of Interest’ form starting from 19 October 2022. For those interested in participating, please go to the TAU website (www.teaponga.com), follow the link and complete the form.
The closing date for the submission of expressions of interest is 16 November 2022. END
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