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GPA to stall recommendation for delayed wind power project  

Credit:  John O'Connor, Post News Staff | www.postguam.com ~~

The Guam Power Authority is holding off on a recommendation that will influence the fate of the utility’s wind power contract with Pacific Green Resources LLC.

According to Enrique Cruz, president of PGR, GPA stated during a meeting yesterday that no action would be taken during today’s meeting with the Consolidated Commission on Utilities. Instead, a recommendation is expected to be made to the commission in May.

GPA entered into a contract with PGR in March 2013 for a 10-megawatt wind farm project in Dandan. But the contract period ended in March this year with no construction having taken place. Cruz said several changes have occurred since the contract was signed, primarily a decision to go from 34 smaller wind turbines to three larger 3.3-MW turbines. Two years were spent trying to understand how the company could produce the power it promised. Another year was spent surveying and acquiring the necessary permits. The project is estimated to cost $40 million.

PGR requested a one-year extension, to complete the project in March 2017.

Officials from PGR, including Cruz, attended a GPA work session last week where they were told to meet with GPA yesterday. A recommendation on whether to approve the extension was expected tonight.

“Unfortunately, that’s not the case,” Cruz said. “They want us to work it out until now and the next board meeting which is in May.”

Review

Cruz said GPA would continue to analyze and review the situation with PGR prior to making its recommendation to the CCU. He said part of the process would be to re-evaluate whether the project can still be completed by March next year.

“I told them if they were to make the decision by April, it could still be done by the March time frame. But if they’re not making a decision until probably May, then we might need an additional month or two,” Cruz said.

The company has continued to work on the project even after its contract expired, according to Cruz. Because of the time it has taken to reach this phase of the project, he said PGR did not want to create any more delays by waiting on GPA and CCU approval. However, the company requires a commitment to the extension before any equipment purchases can be made.

“They want to make sure also that if they grant us an extension, they want to make sure that we’re not going to come back and ask for another two months or three months,” Cruz said. “They want to give us one extension and something reasonable and doable.”

Source:  John O'Connor, Post News Staff | www.postguam.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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