U.S. Department of the Interior’s Insular and International Affairs Assistant Secretary Doug Domenech has announced $5,017,021 in fiscal year (FY) 2019 funding under the Energizing Insular Communities (EIC) program to support a variety of energy retrofitting and efficiency projects that are estimated to provide thousands in savings for the residents of the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“We appreciate that Congress has provided these funds to support energy projects in the U.S. insular areas,” said Domenech. “The cost of fuel in the islands is extremely high, and so opportunities to provide efficiencies and diversify sources of energy is important.”
The Energizing Insular Communities grants, totaling $5,017,021 for (FY) 2019 and broken down by area are as follows:
American Samoa Power Authority – $1,876,325
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) – $785,381
Guam Power Authority – $1,729,815
U.S. Virgin Islands Energy Office – $625,500
$625,500 goes to the Virgin Islands Energy Office for the design, material procurement and installation of a solar plus storage micro-grid pilot project to be integrated into the St. Croix Educational Complex’s emergency hurricane shelter so that the shelter may operate independently of the utility during emergencies. The proposed grid is expected to provide 12,500 kWh of energy, translating to an average of $5,875 in savings per month based on normal usage.
The Energizing Insular Communities grant program provides funding for energy strategies that reduce the cost of electricity and reduce the cost of energy to consumers. Funds under this program are appropriated annually by the U.S. Congress.