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GPA spearheading renewable energy revolution

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 by Jolene Toves

Guam - KUAM takes a look at what our local utility provider is doing to move away from the heavy dirty oil Guam has been burning for years. The revolution in the renewable energy industry is on Guam and is beginning to take shape and according to Consolidated Commission on utilities chairman Simon Sanchez it is a revolution that involves the Guam Power Authority.

"It's a revolution that involves GPA doing it at our level in what we call utility scale renewable in which we can save oil and save fuel and we share all those savings with all of our ratepayers," he explained.

Sanchez says it also means working with the private sector right now there are 130 citizens that make their own energy during the day but during the night still need GPA because there is no sun. "And so we are partnering with the renewable community they are growing GPA is growing the people of Guam are going to see a huge growth in renewable energy 1410 and renewable energy saves us oil most of all ," he continued.

Investing in renewables will also allow GPA to make future generators smaller, as he said, "Because now we are not relying on future generators to make all of the power because we are going to have renewable energy some of the power."

And GPA is already investing in renewable energy and has several projects lined up. Sanchez said, "GPA is going to be the largest user of renewable energy west of Hawaii in the next six months when we open NRG in Dandan with a 25 megawatt solar facility. GPA has just put out another 40 megawatt renewable energy procurement so now we can go from 25 megawatts to 60 megawatts we also have a procurement to help GCC go renewable and we are talking to the Navy about how do we work with them to implement their renewable plans," he said.

Sanchez says that when GPA makes renewable energy money is saved for rate payers across the spectrum because it means less oil need to be bought. "When we open the renewable farm in Dandan early next year the amount of oil its saves us is equal to the amount of oil that 3,000 houses on Guam would use for an entire year and that savings we get to pass on to all ratepayers not just those that have a renewable system on their house but every ratepayer," he said.

Sanchez says this is really the big paradigm shift that is happening at GPA, moving to more efficient generators that burn ore cleaner more efficient fuels and burn much less of them and bringing in much more renewable energy. 

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