20 | 10 | 2017

CONNECTING ISLAND INNOVATIONS

TA’U MICROGRID

General information:

Island (Region, Province, Country): Ta’o Island, American Samoa, USA

Population: Nearly 600 residents of Ta’u

Budget / cost of the project: The project was funded by the American Samoa Economic Development Authority, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Interior, and is expected to allow the island to save significantly on energy costs.

Project objectives:

Like Ta’u, many communities across the globe use diesel as their main source of power. Today, microgrid solutions featuring solar power and energy storage cost less than diesel almost anywhere in the world and are a cleaner, safer alternative. Solar and storage systems also eliminate expenses and issues associated with shipping diesel and provide stable power costs for decades, unlike fluctuating fossil fuel prices – all by simply switching to the power of the sun. The stability and affordability of power from the new Ta’u microgrid, operated by American Samoa Power Authority, provides energy independence for the nearly 600 residents of Ta’u. The battery system also allows the island to use stored solar energy at night, meaning renewable energy is available for use around the clock.

Project description of activities and specific interventions:

The microgrid – 1.4 megawatts of solar generation capacity from SolarCity and Tesla’s 6 megawatt hours Powerpack battery storage system was implemented within just one year from start to finish. This microgrid system supplies nearly 100 percent of the island’s power needs from renewable energy, providing a cost-saving alternative to diesel, removing the hazards of power intermittency and making outages a thing of the past.

Public outreach, education and awareness efforts and results:

The recent project completion announcement created a lot of interest and traffic to the blog post and video.

Island in the Sun


https://www.facebook.com/tesla/

Economic value added and how calculated: 

The system is expected to offset the use of more than 109,500 gallons of diesel per year. Factoring in the escalating cost of fuel, along with transporting such mass quantities to the small island, the financial impact is substantial. Solar and storage systems eliminate expenses and issues associated with shipping diesel and provide stable power costs for decades, unlike fluctuating fossil fuel prices – all by simply switching to the power of the sun.

Ecological and social project outcomes:

The system is expected to offset the use of more than 109,500 gallons of diesel per year. The stability and affordability of power from the new Ta’u microgrid, operated by American Samoa Power Authority, provides energy independence for the nearly 600 residents of Ta’u. Keith Ahsoon, a local resident whose family owns one of the food stores on the island says, “It’s always sunny out here, and harvesting that energy from the sun will make me sleep a lot more comfortably at night, just knowing I’ll be able to serve my customers.”

Its benefits are life changing for residents of Ta’u. The local hospital, high school and elementary schools, fire and police stations and local businesses no longer need to worry about outages or rationing.

 
Ta’u Island now hosts a solar power and Tesla Powerpack battery storage-enabled microgrid that can supply nearly 100 percent of the island’s power needs from renewable energy, providing a cost-saving alternative to diesel, removing the hazards of power intermittency and making outages a thing of the past.

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