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Governor re-nominates Tim Jones as TEO director

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga says Timothy D. Jones Sr. as the director of the Territorial Energy Office can place the territory in a future that will be less reliant on fossil fuel, and Jones is already working on renewable energy for Tutuila and the Manu’a island group.


The governor made the argument in his recent letter to Fono leaders re-nominating Jones as TEO director for the next four years. Lolo’s first nomination of Jones was rejected during the Fono's 1st Regular Session when the nominee failed to muster enough “yes” votes in the Senate to be confirmed, although Jones was  endorsed by the House.


In his renomination letter, Lolo pointed out that during his tenure as acting director, Jones “has displayed the kind of drive and initiative I am looking for in this administration.”


For example, he says, after years of not working very well together, the American Samoa Power Authority and TEO “have finally forged a partnership which is showing tangible results”.


Jones has taken the lead in revitalizing the American Samoa Renewable Energy Council and is now chair of the Council, which “has developed an Energy Action Plan and is near to being completed with a Renewable Energy Strategic Plan,” Lolo explained.


“Initiatives are underway to deliver fully renewable energy resources to Manu’a and to begin the search for geothermal energy for Tutuila,” the governor said. “I am confident that Mr. Jones can manage the Territorial Energy Office into a future where we become less reliant on costly fossil fuels and more reliant on renewable energy.”


Lolo also shared with the Fono that Jones has many years of experience in the energy field, having served as a Senior Engineer in the U.S. Navy, worked as an operator for Bechtel North American Power at their 18MW co-generation plant in California and served as utilities manager for the former COS Samoa Packing cannery.


More recently he was general manager of Hawthorne Machinery in American Samoa, Samoa and Tonga and for the last 10-years, he has owned and operated his own small business, Extreme Power Inc., said Lolo.


In closing the governor asked the Fono for their support in confirming Jones as TEO director.


The Fono reconvenes next Monday following a three-week midsession recess. The fiscal year 2014 budget is one of the priority items for lawmakers followed by confirmation hearings for director-nominees.


Jones told Samoa News in June that American Samoa has an aggressive plan to reduce the territory’s dependence on diesel for electricity through the use of renewable energy, which includes a geothermal project at an estimated cost of more than $2 million with drilling to begin next year, according to a government official.


Geothermal is planned for Tutuila, while the Manu’a island group will be completely off diesel fuel  “except as a back up" by October 2016 and will use solar panels… with installation to begin before the end of this year, the nominee said.