Vector Powersmart (formerly known as PowerSmart) has completed many projects in the South Pacific since 2012, however none of these projects have involved the level of difficulty of this project with the need to integrate existing and new renewable energy infrastructure while working on a live network. This brought a number of challenges, but the result is that now 28.6% of Niue’s energy needs (measured since May 2019) are being met by renewable generation, saving approximately 130,000L of diesel‚ setting Niue up well to achieve its goal of 80% renewable energy by 2025.
What was done?
There were four parts of the project;
Essentially it is the central brain talking with the original diesel generators, original and new solar arrays and the BESS to manage Niue’s electricity network. All of this had to be done while working on a live network.
Through the addition of an EMS, BESS and more solar to the network Niue can often operate without any diesel generators running for up to 10 hours at a time - on average the generators are switched off for 5-7 hours per day. Over the last 5 months the total integrated system has resulted in 28.6% of Niue’s electricity coming from solar renewable sources, saving over 130,000 litres of diesel.