Replacement For Power Plant Destroyed In American Samoa Tsunami Almost Finished

Satala facility set to be commissioned in March

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, Dec. 27, 2016) – American Samoa Power Authority is looking at the new Satala Power Plant to be commissioned in March, while the Ofu renewable project, will be up between February and March of next year, according to ASPA managing director Paul Young at last Thursday’s cabinet meeting.

The Satala power plant, along with the ASPA customer service building was destroyed by the 2009 tsunami and the authority has relocated the customer service building to the ASPA compound in Tafuna, while the power plant has been moved inland to a new location in Satala.

The federal government funds both projects and ASPA has been working to get the power plant up and running.

Speaking at the cabinet meeting, Young provided an update of some of ASPA’s pending projects, starting with the Satala power plant, which ASPA began pre-commissioning this month and “we expect the plant to be commissioned in March,” he said. “That would be a big help for us.”

The second project is the Ofu Solar Park, which is the renewable project for Ofu and Olosega similar to that on Ta’u Island that powers homes and businesses. Young said the Ofu Solar Park would be coming up between February and March. “We have some supplies being constrained right now [and] some things have been delayed a few weeks or so” for arrival here, he said.

Responding to Samoa News inquiries after the cabinet meeting, Young says the solar park, is ASPA’s latest “renewable energy micro grid” and reiterated that the estimated completion date is February to March this year.

“Funded, managed and constructed by ASPA, this advanced micro grid was designed and developed” by Pacific Solar Innovations, Inc. and received grants and support from the US Department of Interior, Office of Insular Affairs, the American Samoa Government, and US Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the Governor’s American Samoa Renewable Energy Committee, Young said.

He explained that the micro grid consists of a 341kW solar photovoltaic array with 1,380 solar modules combined with a 1,100 MWh Aquion Energy battery system. The batteries are environmentally friendly, non-explosive and fully recyclable.

“The Ofu Solar Park will replace up to 80% of the electricity provided to the residents of Ofu and Olosega from diesel fuel generation,” he said. “The system is also designed to be scaleable so that it can be expanded to cover 100% of the island’s power needs.”

During the cabinet meeting, Young also said that the Malaloa Lift Station project is complete.

When asked for more details on this project, Young told Samoa News that over the past five years ASPA has been preparing to extend its sewer collection system from Atuu to Onasosopo.

He says the increased wastewater flows from adding all those homes required that the Utulei treatment plant be repaired, the piping system be enlarged and most recently the facilities at the Malaloa lift station be upgraded.

According to the managing director, the Malaloa lift station, which was already the largest in ASPA’s system, has been given new pumps and controls in order to handle the new flows from the planned extension.

“The major works at the Malaloa lift station are now complete and ASPA is moving toward finalizing design and bid documents to begin work connecting new homes,” he explained. “The sewer extension work will occur in phases and is anticipated to take four years to complete.”

The Samoa News
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