GSES recently undertook training on the island of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. This training was undertaken in an effort to bolster local capacity in the solar industry. This training, focussing on grid-connected systems, was attended by government officials, electricians, local trainers and energy utility workers.
The Cook Islands, being currently at the mercy of high energy prices thanks to the extraordinary distance that diesel must travel to reach the remote island, has put in place a mandate for the islands to use 100% renewable energy by 2020. This ambitious task must largely be fulfilled by solar and wind turbines, as other resources are virtually non-existent.
The two-week course delivered saw the participants study solar system design, as well as having to install and commission two PV systems at the Cook Islands‘ Trades Training Centre. Participants at this course were both local Rarotongans as well as some travelling in from the outer islands. The students performed to a high level throughout the course, which had to cover a lot of material in a short space of time.
Over the next few years, the Cook Islands will be inundated with solar installation work and these students will now be ready to work to bring clean power to their beautiful island nation.