After six years, a federally funded wind turbine tower is months away from being built.
The plan is to build one 233-foot-tall windmill tower in Yona, which will require a zoning variance to allow for the structure’s height. The Guam Land Use Commission is scheduled to hear that request this afternoon.
The $1.5 million project is unrelated to the $294 million wind farm in Inarajan, which will build as many as 34 windmill towers. The Guam Power Authority last year signed a contract for the Inarajan wind farm as part of its plan to incorporate renewable energy into the power system.
“The 275 kW turbine will serve as a pilot project to gather data and provide insight into the feasibility of future wind projects for the island,” said Guam Power Authority spokesman Art Perez. “The wind turbine site will also act as an educational tool, providing hands-on electrical work, building local expertise and possibly expanding Guam’s economic opportunities.”
The single windmill is expected to generate enough power for 25 homes. The energy will be fed into the power grid.
July 2015 deadline
The U.S. Department of Interior Office of Insular Affairs approved a $1.5 million grant to GPA to install the wind turbine for the purpose of research.
“The deadline for the grant is July 2015. We expect to be complete with the project before that time,” Perez said. If the federal grant is not spent by then, it must be returned.
GPA representatives will meet with the Guam Land Use Commission at 1:30 p.m. today to discuss their application for a height zone variance.
Perez said construction on the turbine should begin in August or September of this year and must be complete by July 2015. “It is currently out for bid. Closing for the bid is July 7,” Perez said.
According to news files, the nearest home is about 800 yards from the proposed tower.
“The turbine is designed to withstand winds of 170 mph and can be readily taken down in the event of high winds,” Perez said. “The Guam Department of Agriculture has determined that locating a wind turbine project on the proposed site will not adversely impact the ongoing conservation and reforestation efforts at the site and its surrounding areas,” he said.
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