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Safety necessitates reducing size of units needed oversight

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 5, 2011) – The main power supplier on Rarotonga in the Cooks Islands, Te Aponga Uira, has cut its limit on renewable energy installations requiring approval, to one-fifth of the former 10 kilowatt limit.

This comes as the government aims to have the country run entirely by renewable energy in the near future.

Te Aponga Uira says the drop from 10 kilowatts to two is for safety reasons.

The company says large solar installations have potentially lethal high voltages and their design and connection are not a job for hobbyists and enthusiasts, but need to be done by properly qualified and experienced personnel.

It says issues of harmonics, reactive power and voltage rise need to be addressed to ensure neighboring consumers are not adversely affected.

[PIR editor's note: The Cook Islands' government announced earlier in the week that US$1 million in funds has been earmarked for developing renewable energy projects in the northern islands out of a total US$3 million available for the Cook Islands through the Pacific Environment Community Fund.]

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