Cheaper electricity promised as hydro power plan opens

By Deidre Tautua ,

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GROUNDBREAKING: P.M. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi (far right) with officials at the groundbreaking ceremony at Tafitoala yesterday.

GROUNDBREAKING: P.M. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi (far right) with officials at the groundbreaking ceremony at Tafitoala yesterday. (Photo: Deidre Tautua)

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi’s government advanced its renewable energy plans yesterday as it moves to push for cheaper electricity.

It happened during the groundbreaking ceremony for a Hydro Power plant at Tafitoala, Safata.

Tafitoala is one of the three places for Hydro Power plants in Samoa. 

The other two are located at Fuluasou and Vailoa Palauli, Savai’i.

The project at Tafitoala is funded by the Asian Development Bank, European Union, New Zealand and the government of Samoa through the Electric Power Corporation.

 “The preliminary capacity of the hydro power is about 580kilowatts and it will generate about 2,300,000units per year,” Tuilaepa said.

“It will also help save 575,000 liters of diesel that was meant to come from overseas

“Lowering Samoa’s reliance on fossil fuels will help free up resources for other priority needs while improving national energy security and sustainability.

“One of the project’s targets is to save about 3.6 million liters of diesel per year as clean power is rolled out to replace diesel-generated power.”

The village of Tafitoala welcomes the development.

Pauli Patolo Afoa said the project will help reduce the cost of electricity not just for the their village but also nearby villages.

“For us here in Tafitoala we have always had a problem with our electricity from the beginning,” he said.

“As you know many people are living inland so the electricity there is weak and it has been a problem from the start.”

Pauli added that the E.P.C. team came around and fixed the problem however it wasn’t a permanent solution.

 “So hopefully this project will help our village solve this problem that we have been facing for so long.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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