GPA taking steps to start wind turbine program - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GPA taking steps to start wind turbine program

by Jolene Toves

Guam - The Guam Power Authority is taking the first steps towards the implementation of a wind turbine pilot program, requesting an audience with the Mayor's Council of Guam as part of an outreach project funded by a Department of Insular Affairs grant.

GPA spokesperson Art Perez said, "It's for a wind turbine project in the Katol Region of the island on Cross Island Road on a conservation area. We've gotten support and derived an MOU it still needs the front office signature from the governor."

Although the project is awaiting front office approval it has garnered the support of various agencies within the government. "But with the pertinent parties - the Department of Agriculture, Department of Parks & Rec and the AG's Office we gotten their approvals to go ahead and proceed but we still need the signature of the governor," he said.

According to Perez, the wind turbine project will benefit the island, saying, "We view the project as a $1.5 million economic stimulus. It has residual benefits aside for gathering the wind data for GPA to further support the feasibility of wind turbine projects for the island."

The wind turbine project will provide a unique opportunity for GPA to partner with local educational institutions like GCC. The partnership would open the doors for students interested in an emerging renewable energy industry profession. "We like to propose using this site as sort of a field classroom to do hands on work electrical work and help be part of that certification process and hopefully expand the economic the base of our island with new jobs in this industry," he said.

The wind turbine project will allow GPA to gather data for future expansion of the wind turbine projects. The data gathering is part of GPA's Integrated Resource Plan. He said, "I guess areas been identified or the potential for the industry to expand we will have the data to help support that business case and then further provide information to say, 'Hey, let's expand lets help reduce our reliance on imported oil.'"

Perez says that these are all pluses for the ratepayer and GPA's efforts to wean off of imported fuel and the costs associated. He adds that whatever can be done to chip away at the two-thirds cost of the power bill is a good investment.

GPA will be meeting with the mayor council on the 19th. Yona, Santa Rita and Talofofo village meetings are soon to follow.

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