Senior officials of the Ministry of Infrastructure says that the power outage yesterday was caused by a serious fault at the main power station. The power outage affected the northern side of the island from central Alofi.
The Director General of the Ministry Andre Siohane (pictured) said that the fault is with the interface between the Micro Grid Control (MGC) and the Battery Energy Storage system.
The team from Niue Power worked through the evening yesterday to determine the exact fault and identified a part which needed to be flown in from New Zealand. However, they were unable to get the part for the flight which arrived this afternoon.
DG Siohane says that power generation is affected “The Micro Grid control is not working which controls the battery that stores power. At the moment we only have two engines (generators) to carry the island load (power usage)”
DG Siohane says that their engines must be serviced every 250 hours so they have to perform that tonight hence the decision to shut down the power from 11pm until 4am tomorrow morning.
Siohane is encouraging the public to try to limit the use of electricity until the necessary part is on the island next week.
“Conserve energy as much as possible. The situation at the moment is to get through this one week before the parts arrive. So conserve power like turning off the lights if you’re not using it and even the water taps as well which uses energy”.
The Ministry issued a public notice this afternoon that power will be turned off tonight from 11pm until 4am for most of the island except from central Alofi up to the hospital at Kaimiti.
Minister of Infrastructure Crossley Tatui in a statement told BCN news say that the government’s renewable energy aspirations is still a work in progress “Our new power system remains a dilemma as we try to introduce renewable energy to the power house grid system”.
The Minister says that his ministry continues to face issues with generators with only two at the moment coupled with high replacement costs and capacity issues.
On average the island’s power consumption during the day is around 600 kilowatts and during peak hours can increase up to more than 700 kilowatts.
The energy needs of the island are met by a 3.1Megawatt Tesla battery and a 1.2Megawatt solar direct to the grid system.