The country is rehabilitating old hydropower plants and building new ones to achieve its target of going 100% renewable and wean off its dependence on imported fossil fuels for power generation. When completed, the island nation targets to save about 36 million litres of diesel per year.
The Asian Development Bank's energy specialist Woo Yul Lee says that, together with development partners, it is supporting the Samoan government's efforts through $32.59 of co-financed grants under the Renewable Energy Development and Power Sector Rehabilitation Project.
"Samoa is heavily reliant on imported fossil fuels for power generation. It is also vulnerable to natural disasters and potential effects of climate change.
"The new and rehabilitated hydropower capacity will help the country address the dual challenge of climate change and energy security concern by generating carbon and fuel-free electricity," Woo Yul Lee, energy specialist, Asian Development Bank," said Woo.
This renewable rehabilitation and development project is scheduled for completion by 2018.
"Right now, we are putting all our efforts into achieving that target … Samoa should be 100% renewable," said Tologata Tile Leia Tuimalealiifano, who is the general manager of the Electric Power Corporation (EPC).
Samoa has long been dependent on diesel generators for its energy supply. In 2012 alone, about 95 million litres of diesel were imported. This was the same year Cyclone Evan severely damaged the country's hydropower plants.
"To build renewables and focusing more on the rehabilitation of three hydroplants that were damaged by the cyclone in 2012. So we will have three rehabilitated ones and build four more new ones under this project. This is of course are all funded by grant, which is good for EPC," said EPC project manager Fonoti Perelini.