A small island in American Samoa is making the switch from diesel generators to 100 percent renewable energy. Ta’u, the easternmost of the Samoan islands, has just been equipped with a new microgrid with 1.4 megawatts of solar-generation capacity and six megawatt hours of battery storage. It’s enough to power the entire island night and day. With an area of just 17 square miles, Ta’u has a population of fewer than 1,000 people, and until now, they have relied almost entirely on diesel generators for their electricity. But it hasn’t always been an ideal situation. Because Ta’u is so remote, fuel for the generators must be shipped in by boat, which is expensive and means the island sometimes runs low on fuel before the next shipment arrives. About a year ago, the American Samoa Power Authority began soliciting help with a project that would save the island the inconvenience, costs and greenhouse gas emissions associated with relying on diesel.
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