HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 650: 23 January 2013

Sweet, smart street

Technological advances in intelligent energy storage and distribution are being developed by Sweet Lightning, a tech company founded by entrepreneurs and scientists from Canada, the US, and Australia. Sweet Lightning is a partner with the Murienua Power Association (MPA) on Rarotonga.
A proficient future micro grid with reliable power will rely on information technology advances to work efficiently: smart software and community inverters that work within a small community using clean energy generation to network resources so they are compatible and in-tune with each other. This allows a small community - in our case, the Murienua Power Association - to share the power that they have jointly generated without interfering with the rest of the grid.
In layman’s terms, imagine that Aunty down the road gets her power from Te Aponga and around the corner from Aunty is a large privately-owned solar energy generator that is grid connected. Now if that self generated solar power fluctuates (for example, when a cloud passes in front of the sun) Te Aponga won’t be able to quickly and seamlessly increase or decrease its generation to compensate and the true cost of electricity to Aunty could be much higher as a result...to say nothing of the problems such fluctuation creates for the grid.
For many years there has been resistance to the entire concept of a micro grid not just on Rarotonga but globally. This resistance is starting to fade in the face of many successful implementations. Confidence in this model and its unique advantages is starting to evolve.
Sweet Lightning and the MPA has been working together for over 12 months and we are very pleased to advise that our computer simulations using computer software and data collected from the First Smart Street - Kavera Road in Kavera are now in progress. They show considerable potential for neighbourhood-generated power that won’t have any impact on Te Aponga ... except to lower demand and take pressure off the system.
The next step is to raise the funds to buy and install the generating technology - solar panels, inverters, cables - for the homes on the ‘First Smart Street’ in Kavera to test our configuration and iron out any bugs.

Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

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