KEPCO seals the deal for new power plant
$600 million in power purchases, and $2.6 billion in fuel. That's how much GPA expects to spend over 25 years in a newly signed deal with the Korea Electric Power company.
The Guam Power Authority says the deal to build, operate and transfer a 198-megawatt power plant in Ukudu, Dededo represents the most cost-effective, reliable solution available for Guam's foreseeable power needs.
KEPCO Vice President and head of global business development Guen Bae Seo signed the agreement with GPA general manager John Benavente.
"I'm confident that it will contribute to the stable power supply in Guam and play a role in the green technology," he said. "And I would like to ensure that kepco will make its utmost efforts to successfully carry out this project in a timely and efficient manner."
Consolidated Commission on Utilities Chair Joey Duenas noted it was a very important day for Guam.
"I'm excited today because of what it means for our ratepayers," he said. "That's why we're all here, this is all about our ratepayers. We're trying to deliver them the service that they need. The service that they deserve, and the service that will improve our island and contribute to lowering our carbon footprint, cleaning our environment, and giving our island what they need so that we can continue to prosper."
The plant drew opposition from utilities oversight chair Sen. Clynt Ridgell and solar energy companies who favor more renewable energy over another fossil fuel plant. GPA's Benavente says they support renewables too, but they still need the plant to reach the goals that have been set of 50 percent by 2035, and 100 percent by 2045.
"We're gonna achieve the 50 percent goal," he said. "Beyond that, we really have to take a look at it. the solar pv, beyond fifty percent it's gonna cost more in my opinion. Again, it's gonna be hard to compete with what we have done so far, solar pv on rooftops and that kind of thing we're gonna work that into the equation. But let us handle it. Let's not be mandating these type of solutions."
Benavente also responded to concerns from Public Works that when the generator is brought in and transported from the port to Dededo, it will be too heavy and damage the roadway. But he says engineering solutions are available, including breaking the machine down into smaller pieces.
"I'm not sure where those numbers were coming from, all I can say is we have an excellent engineering firm that's working with KEPCO," he said. "They're Hyundai engineering, one of the largest in the world, and they know how to get things done."
GPA received approval for the deal just last week from the Public Utilities Commission. Target completion date is for the Fall of 2023.