Tesla Powerpacks Push Samoa Towards 100% Renewable Energy

Apia, Samoa

JUL 25 2018 BY VANJA KLJAIC 13

The small island nation continues to transition from diesel-powered powerplants to 100% renewable energy and full sustainability

Over the course of the last twelve months, Tesla has been hard at work at helping Samoa – a small Pacific island nation – transition from diesel-powered powerplants currently powering the nation, to 100% renewable energy. This is mostly done thanks to the revolutionary scalable Powerpack battery storage solution. The solution helps the small island nation, not just an option to capture all the abundant renewable energy, but also, to bring improved grid stability to its local utilities.

The newly installed Tesla Powerpack installations at the Fiaga Power Station and the Faleolo International Airport afford the local power grid system with 13.6 MWh of energy storage. This allows Samoa to integrate it with their current solar, wind and hydropower farms, in turn, allowing the energy produced in various parts of the day – eg. during the hours where the sun emits the most energy – to be stored and used in periods of the day where energy production is lower, but consumption is higher – eg. night time. This gives the small island country full real-time control over their grid stability, reliability, and security.

This aspect of the energy storage solution was best emphasized by Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, who, in an interview for the Samoan Observer, noted how the usage of Tesla’s Powerpack systems helped the country achieve additional stability within their power grid system.

“Without the new battery energy storage systems and microgrid controller, the system will not be able to operate efficiently with such a high percentage of solar penetration in Samoa of 55%. Since the batteries have been running on trial tests, the quality (voltage and frequency) of the electricity supply has been very steady and not fluctuating as before,” he said.

The ultimate goal for Samoa is to sustain 100% renewable energy production by 2025. In turn, over the course of the last few years, the nation has been surpassing their goals in renewable energy production and have ultimately achieved a production rate of 48% for their electricity generation through renewable sources. This was achieved in the period from July 2017 to June 2018 alone. In the end, this wouldn’t be possible without Tesla, and Tuilaepa expressed his thanks to the U.S based company who was awarded the project back in 2017 – alongside other companies that are taking part in making Samoa 100% sustainable in the following years.

Lalomanu beach with open huts called fales, south side of Upolu Island, Samoa

While the ecological aspect is the most important one in Samoa’s case, the country will also save millions of dollars every year due to lessened oil imports. The country imports millions of liters of oil every year and has imported a staggering 95 million liters (25 million gallons) of diesel to support its energy grid in 2012, mostly due to it’s hydropower production plants being decimated by the Cyclone Evan, which almost brought the entire country to its knees.

With a transition to renewables, Samoa could spend that money on education, transportation, and improvements of their other infrastructure, further improving the life quality of its citizens. And hopefully, we’ll get to see those beautiful Samoan beaches in the same state for years to come.

Source: Teslarati

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13 Comments on "Tesla Powerpacks Push Samoa Towards 100% Renewable Energy"

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good that they are moving off diesel. Hopefully, they will move off oil-based vehicles as well.
BUT, they really need to add a small nuclear power plant such as NuScale, and have it desalinate water as well.
By having multiple different sources of electricity, it means that they can shut down 1 of them while the others take it on.

Why would a small, tropical island nation neccesarily need nuclear? I have done some numbers for the Caribbean island, Jamaica and come up with an area of 25 square km to provide the electricity needs for the entire island with solar PV alone! That is a square with sides 5 km (~3 miles) that could easily fit within the confines of the capital city. IIRC, I made allowances for some space between panels to allow for tilting (no tracking). If arrays were to be located on the roofs of all large buildings in the island (warehouses, shopping centers, schools, offices etc.), as well as roofs of houses and apartment buildings the 25 square km could be reduced considerably. I find views that small, tropical islands cannot go 100% renewable using mostly solar to be disingenuous. In my numbers for Jamaica I completely ignored wind and hydro power when the island already has 100 MW of wind capacity and 30 MW of hydro with a peak demand of about 650 MW. Unless an island has an economy that is using abnormally large amounts of electrical energy, 100% renewable should be a piece of cake. I’ve seen numbers that suggest that replacing… Read more »
you have so many things wrong there. First, America’s energy can be divided into 1/3s. 1/3 goes into electricity. 1/3 goes into transportation (light vehicles is about 1/2 of that, or 1/6 total). 1/3 goes into commerce directly (such as burning coal to make steal; that kind of energy). So, once America moves a significant amount of our transportation to electric, we will have to DOUBLE it. It is why numerous studies have been done over the decades about this and have said that 30 years ago, we could move our vehicles to electric, and as long as 80% were charged at night, we had the excess power for it. NOW, we have about 11% coming AE (hydro, bio, wind, geo-thermal, and solar ). Can it simply be increased? Nope. We use 100% of it (well, to be fair, 99%). And as an owner of a 10 KW solar system, we use it all or sell to the grid. Then we have 20% from nukes. These are also ran at ~100%. So, nothing there. Then we have 30% nat gas, which is ran at around 90% capacity. We could increase it some. Finally, we have coal. Coal is 30% (and… Read more »

There is no such thing as cheap (or absolutely fail-safe) nuclear. And there is no practically meaningful limit to increasing solar capacity.

wrong.
Totally fail-safe.
and yes, cheap.

And there are limits to EVERYTHING.

Even light has limits.
It is the lack of intelligence/logic/science that gets ppl like you into so much trouble.
Hopefully, you are NOT associated with any gov ANYWHERE.
You extremists are destroying mankind.

A couple of counterpoints. Jamaica experienced category 5 hurricane Gilbert in 1988, the worst storm in about three decades and my first experience of a direct hit from a major hurricane, with the eye passing over the capital city. In the years since the previous big storm, memories had faded and people did not adhere to building codes and best building practices. As a result, the damage done by Gilbert was serious and badly affected structures that should have easily withstood Gilbert’s onslaught. Since then, people have bee a lot more careful about how they attach their roofs and the type of destruction that occurred during the passage of Gilbert should not happen again. Having said that, I have observed several instances of PV arrays in Jamaica that would never pass inspection in the state of Florida, with the mounting systems not being certified for category 5 winds, in most cases, DIY type attachments with no certification whatsoever. So you do have a point but, with proper engineering it should be possible for PV arrays to come out of a major storm relatively unscathed like the one on Necker Island owned by Richard Branson. I did an informal study following… Read more »

before worrying about Ag, you have to get ppl out of the area. IOW, you have to deal with the disaster. PR is a diaster area and because it does not have decent electrical/water/buildings/etc to start with, it was and remains, a nightmare.
By having a mix of power available in any area, such as Somoa, or America, it makes it easy to deal with economics as well as disasters.
BTW, Somoa is part of ring of fire, so SHOULD have some decent geo-thermal areas. As such, instead of nukes, geo-thermal can do the job instead.
OTOH, Caribbean areas, such as PR, are not, so they really need Nukes.

BTW, the economics of any form of energy is easy to figure out. Even now, the NuScale is not using any new technology. As such, it is well known.

You don’t appear to account for the efficiency gain that will be realized in the transition from combustion engines to electric motors.

Or the loss of power on the local grid?
The issues in disasters such as Tsunamis or Hurricanes?
You need an energy MATRIX, not 2 intermittent energy sources that depend SOLELY on the sun.

That cover photo totally looks like CGI 😉

I think there’s some serious HDR-action going on there. The saturation has probably also been cranked to 11.

Yeah it looks more like a video game than an actual picture.

All islands need to go 100% renewable Hawaii plants to be there by 2045