WASHINGTON – The Trump Administration announced $6,800,000 in grant awards provided through the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs’ Energizing Insular Communities program to support energy initiatives in the U.S. territories.
“Lowering the cost of energy to consumers and business is a keystone to President Trump’s energy initiatives” said Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, Douglas W. Domenech. “This support through Interior will fund a range of energy initiatives in the territories that will reduce energy costs and increase energy efficiency by replacing older appliances, analyzing current usage, retrofitting older buildings, and exploring alternative energy options proposed in territorial Energy Action Plans.”
Fiscal year 2020 Energizing Insular Communities grant funding and prior-year, re-directed funds totaling $6,800,000 is provided to each of the U.S. territories as follow:
- American Samoa Power Authority (ASPA) - $1,947,400 will be used for two different initiatives to be conducted by ASPA. Under the first initiative, funds will be used to install a solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery storage system on the island of Aunu’u to become 100% powered by renewable energy, as envisioned in the American Samoa Renewable Energy Committee Energy Action Plan. Two existing 100 kW diesel Caterpillar generators will be used for back-up power. Under the second initiative, funds will be used to purchase and install two 5-ton small-scale fuel distillation units that will convert waste oil into diesel fuel for use at ASPA’s diesel power plants that distribute electricity to island residents. Following recommended goals in the American Samoa Energy Action Plan, ASPA will use these distillation units to recycle and repurpose waste oil from vehicles, power plants, shipping vessels, and other uses on-island, at a 90% rate of conversion efficiency, to re-use in diesel-powered power plants.
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)
- Commonwealth Utilities Corporation (CUC) - $1,377,200 will be used for three separate projects being conducted by the CUC. Funds will be used to 1) purchase and install 1,600 pre-pay electrical meters on Saipan and Rota, 2) employ a solar-energy systems engineer to provide the technical professional capacity to make on-site technical and electrical decisions in the field of solar photovoltaic and renewables technologies, and 3) acquire a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system for each of the engines at Power Plant 1, Lower Base, Saipan.
- Department of Public Works - $212,920 will be used to increase the amount of Energy Star/Energy Efficiency Rebates being offered by the State Energy Program as an incentive for residents to replace old and inefficient appliances and reduce overall energy and utility costs.
- Office of the Governor - $77,530 will be used to apply a cool roof system to three facilities at the Juan A. Sablan Memorial Building, the CNMI Government complex on Capitol Hill.
- Office of Women’s Affairs - $38,425 will be used to install several energy efficiency measures, including a cool roof system, LED lighting, and window reflective film.
- Guam Contractors Association Trades Academy - $2,248,010 will be used at the trade academy to design and construct a full-size commercial solar photovoltaic (PV) panels array and storage facility. This is expected to reduce operational costs and provide a real-life laboratory to train technicians in PV installation and maintenance.
U.S. Virgin Islands
- University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) - $323,515 will be used by UVI for a variety of energy efficiency projects and initiatives as follows: 1) conduct an ASHRAE Level 2 audit of all UVI facilities in order to inform and develop short- and long-term energy management strategies, 2) procure and install eight solar charging stations for use on the two UVI campuses at St. Thomas and St. Croix, and 3) procure and install a Zero-Energy Laboratory on the St. Croix campus.
- Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) - $575,000 will be used for two initiatives at WAPA. The first will be a cost-of-service study to determine the revenue requirement of the utility and serve as a foundation for developing a new rate structure. The second will be to conduct a comprehensive personnel review to identify redundancies in business operations and evaluate the organization for workforce rightsizing and support WAPA’s existing financial recovery plan.
The Office of Insular Affairs’ (OIA) Energizing Insular Communities (EIC) program is made available each year by Congress to support energy priorities in the U.S. territories. For more information on grant assistance provided through OIA, please visit: https://www.doi.gov/oia/financial-assistance.
The Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, @ASIIADomenech, and the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) carry out the Secretary of the Interior’s responsibilities for the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Additionally, OIA administers and oversees federal assistance under the Compacts of Free Association to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. Follow and “like” OIA on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/InsularAffairs.