Less than half of Guam's solar companies are obtaining permits - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Less than half of Guam's solar companies are obtaining permits

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 by Jolene Toves

Guam - KUAM News has confirmed that only a small fraction of local solar companies are getting the necessary permits to install solar panels. The Department of Public Works says it's now looking into the matter.

DPW director Glenn Leon Guerrero says less than 50% of solar companies on island have obtained the permits necessary to install solar paneling on homes and business. How were they able to slip through the cracks? "I don't know," he said, speaking frankly. "I don't know what the solar companies are required to do but I think if we get it at the GPA front and at our front and work together so that we are in sync that it wouldn't matter if you want to put a solar panel up I mean it is required as a building permit and you need a hook up to the system then we will catch it that way."

Leon Guerrero says that a permit is required for any type of solar installation because modifications are being made to the breaker box and piping. "My take on this is I am going to have to talk to GPA and see what we can do to renew our relationship on that front I understand that the major solar companies have come through us and my understanding and this is just a ball park figure that less than fifty percent are actually getting permits through DPW doing it the right way," he added.

He says he will talk with management at the Guam Power Authority to see what can be done to work together to resolve the issue. But at this point he is unsure of how many solar panel installations have gone unpermitted or how much revenue has been lost as a result. "It's really not a whole lot of money in permitting revenue your talking anywhere between $200-$400 in permitting costs so we will look at that talk to GPA to see how many permits have slipped through the cracks and we will address it there," continued Leon Guerrero.

He adds that once they are able to determine how many installations have not been permitted they may send letters to the solar companies to address the matter.

Meanwhile, GPA spokesperson Art Perez tells KUAM News that on their side it is required that solar companies register so that credit can be received and to ensure that the solar power connections are done properly to avoid any backfeed into the power grid system. 
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