Aumua Announces $1.3 Million Grant for ASPA

May 19, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C. –Wednesday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata, announced today, that the U.S. Department of Interior has awarded a grant to the American Samoa Power Authority (ASPA) for energy improvements, to assist in reducing dependence on imported fuel oil in American Samoa.

 “I am pleased that the United States Department of the Interior understands the need for alternative energy resources in American Samoa, and has awarded these grants for that purpose,” said Amata.  “While we still need to rely on some fossil fuels for our energy production, it is encouraging that those costly resources are being reduced with the advent of these alternatives,” continued Amata.

The grants are provided through the Empowering Insular Communities Program from the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA).  Specifically, a grant in the amount of $368,468 will be used for the Manu'a Islands Demand Side Management Program and a separate grant in the amount of $927,500 will be used for Supplemental Battery Storage.

A major strategy of the American Samoa Energy Action Plan is for all three Manu'a Islands to obtain 100% of their electrical power from renewable sources.  Under current projects, Ofu and Olosega will reach 85% and Ta'u will reach 90% by October of this year.  After careful design and feasibility considerations, leading micro-grid experts have proposed two final projects to help Manu’a attain energy sovereignty:  1) Demand-side efficiency measures and 2) 1.5 MWh of additional battery storage on Ta'u.  Reducing the overall demand for electricity is the most cost effective way of reaching the goal of 100%.  All sodium vapor streetlights will be converted to LED lights, reducing energy consumption by half.  LED lighting will also replace less-efficient lighting sources in all commercial structures and schools to include additional energy retro-fits.  In all, these energy conservation measures are estimated to reduce demand for electricity by 15% in all three islands.

Through ongoing construction, ASPA will install 1.4 MW of solar panels and 4.2 MWh of Tesla batteries on Ta'u.  The project will offset approximately 90% of diesel consumption in Ta'u.  The additional battery storage, coupled with two 100-kW wind turbines (which will be funded locally), will bring the total renewable energy capacity to 100% and bring Manu’a to its self-sufficient energy goal.

“I want to thank those OIA officials for approving this important funding, as well as ASPA CEO, Utu Abe Malae and other local officials who worked so hard to help us obtain these critical funds that will go a very long way in helping us achieve our goal of eliminating costly imported fossil fuels,” concluded Amata.

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