20 Jun 2013

American Samoa geothermal drilling likely to start next year

3:18 pm on 20 June 2013

The director of American Samoa's Energy Office says drilling for geothermal energy on the main island of Tutuila will probably start in the middle of next year.

Timothy Jones says the drilling is part of a mandate given by the governor to reduce the territory's dependance on diesel to generate electricity and cut power prices.

He says geothermal energy is already successfully used in other parts of the world and can be done in American Samoa.

"We have the geological society taking a look at American Samoa from satellite and taking a look at us from geological studies and telling us where the best places are to drill. We're going to drill three pilot holes and look for that steam. We have a very high probability of hitting and once we establish that, that will lower our bills probably by 50 percent."

Timothy Jones says the office plans to make use of solar and wind energy on the Manu'a islands and plan to have the group taken off diesel energy by 2016.