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ASPA gets $1.87 million for “led retrofit” street lights

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The US Department of Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs has awarded the American Samoa Power Authority more than $1.87 million in funding to upgrade and replace street lights on Tutuila.

In an Oct. 10th letter, US Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs, Douglas W. Domenech informed Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga of the funds to ASPA for fiscal year 2019 through OIA’s Energizing Insular Communities (EIC) program, which provides grant funding for energy projects and strategies that reduce the cost of electricity to the territories and Freely Associated States (FAS).

Domenech said the funding will be used for high priority energy projects as detailed in EIC grant applications submitted this year. The letter notes that the grant award to ASPA is for the “Territory-wide streetlight LED Retrofit”.

He also informed the governor that at this time, the federal agency is unable to fund additional projects with this year’s funding.

Samoa News understands that American Samoa almost lost out on this funding opportunity, and according to online records, the deadline for application submission was July this year. It’s understood that DOI field representative Lydia Faleafine-Nomura brought this matter to the governor’s attention.

The governor wrote to Domenech seeking an extension and it was granted. Thereafter, ASPA was immediately notified and ASPA acting executive director, Wallon Young and his staff sent out the application and got approval for the grant funding.