Newly Commissioned Solar Plant to Deliver Sustainable, Reliable Power to Cook Islands

News Release | 29 November 2018

MANGAIA, COOK ISLANDS (29 November 2018) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of the Cook Islands led the commissioning of the Mangaia solar power plant today, which will provide improved access to sustainable energy services to the people and businesses of Mangaia.

The Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, Mr. Henry Puna, led the ribbon cutting and the opening of the solar power plant, which will provide clean, reliable energy to about 500 people in the Pacific Islands country.

The solar power plant in Mangaia is the third to come online from the Cook Islands Renewable Energy Sector Project, which has been cofinanced by ADB, the Government of Japan’s Pacific Environment Community Funds, the European Union, the Global Climate Fund, and the Global Environment Facility. A plant in Mitiaro opened in May and a plant in Atiu opened in August. When a plant in Mauke opens, the project will be providing clean and affordable electricity to almost 1,500 people—or about 8% of the Cook Islands’ population.

“Over 500 more people will soon enjoy the benefits of solar-generated power,” said ADB Senior Energy Specialist for the Pacific Ms. Cindy Tiangco at the event. “ADB remains committed to working with our partners to help the Government of the Cook Islands’ renewable energy targets.”

Other benefits of the project include increased electricity output from renewable energy sources and enhanced energy security delivered in an environmentally sustainable manner. 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.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.