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ÅF's global reach includes Polynesia

The Government of Samoa is implementing a development strategy for the small pacific island country, in which a key component is the promotion of sustainable energy sources to reduce its traditional dependency on imported fossil fuels.

Solar PV plant in Samoa

Our Policy, Regulation and Sustainability unit is working with the Asian Development Bank to support the Samoan Office of the Regulator (OOTR) in developing its role in the electricity sector, with emphasis on the promotion of infrastructure projects with private sector participation.

ÅF’s main task is advising the client on the effectiveness of existing government policies for soliciting private sector investment, and ensuring the clients own regulatory arrangements support the development of partnerships with international organisations and independent power producers to the benefit of customers in Samoa.

A key challenge is ensuring that the integration of renewables does not raise overall costs due to the need for fossil fuel back up of solar power plants and due to the nature of take-or-pay conditions in Power Purchase Agreements. This challenge is being addressed through a range of complementary measures including:

  • Ensuring the local utility implements least cost generation planning techniques so that new IPPs are chosen and sequenced optimally,
  •  Reviewing Power Purchase Agreements policies to clearly set out to investors how the regulator will exercise its role in approving prices and other conditions,
  • Drafting net metering policies to balance customer desire to install solar panels with the legitimate needs of the utility to recover network and generation costs.
  • Increasing accountability in regulatory price setting through the development of information and monitoring templates and broader publication of decisions.

An important objective of the assignment is to enhance the clients organizational structure and staffing arrangements through a capacity building plan based on best practice modern regulation. Moreover, workshops and seminars are being organised to increase appreciation among policymakers, industry participants, and the public of the role of modern sector regulation. 

The project commenced in August 2017 and will run until the end of April 2018.