28 Mar 2013

American Samoa to look to the ocean for power generation

2:33 pm on 28 March 2013

American Samoa's new energy director believes ocean technology is one way for the territory to achieve its target of producing all its energy from renewable sources within four years.

Tim Jones, who has more than 30 years experience in the energy sector, has been tasked by the governor with advancing the territory's energy plans.

American Samoa already has a photovoltaic system in place that can deliver 1 point 8 megawatts of power, but he says this is not enough.

"As the sun comes over, or a cloud comes over and blocks the sun the power immediately drops off and we can lose up to 10% of our power generation really fast. This means that the utility has to continue to run a generator and burn diesel fuel just to standby for a cloud, and this is not really an efficient way to operate a solar PV system so we are looking at different types of renewables not subject to interruptions."

Tim Jones says the next step is to secure funds, strengthen private sector partnerships, and ensure legislation and policies support the government's push..