Case Study

Power Profile -- Utility (American Samoa Power Authority)

Source: Caterpillar Inc., Electric Power Division

In September 2009, a tsunami hit the island of American Samoa, destroying the Satala power plant, one of the main power generation facilities on the island, and leaving the isolated, Pacific community with an 18 MW power shortfall. Emergency relief efforts were supported by the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and a temporary system was deployed. About one year later, the American Samoa Power Authority (ASPA) issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a temporary power generation system to provide 18 MW of continuous, reliable electric power to operate for approximately two to three years until the Satala power plant could be rebuilt.

The RFP requested a flexible, modular system that could be redeployed after the Satala plant was completed. It specified using ISO certified containers for component packaging to allow for maximum flexibility, and ease with handling, installation and relocation. In addition, it required a flexible configuration with the ability to operate as two sites with up to eight generator sets, as an independent system, as one large combined system and with or without being in parallel with the existing utility grid.

The power plant needed to meet the demands of a tropical location, and include a comprehensive Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system to provide local and remote monitoring and control capabilities. Finally, the entire power plant had to be fully functional within eight months, or risk significant financial penalties for missing the deadline.