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CCU chairman skeptical about wind turbine project

As the Guam Power Authority expands it renewable energy portfolio with wind and solar capabilities, Consolidated Commission on Utilities chairman Joseph Duenas has doubts about the viability of a wind turbine project. He told KUAM News “They haven’t started construction or any kind of work on the project and the project is supposed to be completed in eight months.”

The wind turbine project is supposed to generate roughly 10 megawatts of power in Windward Hills and although the project is small, Duenas says unlike Hawaii, Guam does not have the land space. “We always knew that wind would be a challenge for Guam, and for two reasons: first, Guam does not have a large land mass as Maui – the island of Maui is doing a lot more wind but they have two things going for them. One they are 765 square miles compared to Guam’s 212 square miles.”

He is also unsure that there will be sufficient wind, saying, “Most of these wind mill projects these wind turbines they like a certain band of wind they like between 12-28 miles an hour that’s everything I have read about wind in other words they don’t function well or produce well below 12 miles per hour and when the wind is too fast that’s when they exceed 28 miles per hour that’s when they start to shut down to protect their motors, too.”

He says because we are on Guam we also need to contend with seismic activity and typhoons. However when it comes to the Layon Solar Project, things are not as dim. “The Layon Solar Project is being tested right now we hope to go live in October, that’s the plan. You have to understand they put the utilities Cal Solar Photovoltaics in place, but now they have to test is there are a lot of different components there. It’s not just the panels themselves they are hooked up to other things and it has to transmit power and they been testing it now,” Duenas added.

According to Duenas three megawatts has already been transmitted to the Talofofo substation as of last week. He says the solar project target for power generation is 25 megawatts.