By Catherine Cruz Norton, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas Public Affairs
MANGILAO, Guam (NNS) -- In the spirit of One Guam, the Navy and Guam Power Authority (GPA) signed an agreement, May 16, to develop renewable energy for the island during a ceremony.
The signing ceremony, held at the Gloria B. Nelson Public Service Building in Mangilao, consummates many years of hard work, perseverance and partnering between Navy and GPA officials to advance a shared vision toward resilient and reliable electricity for the people who call Guam home.
The agreement is to support development of a 164-acre solar power system, which is anticipated to produce 38 megawatts (MW) of clean energy.
"This moves both organizations toward meeting renewable energy goals," Joint Region Marianas Commander Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield said. "This One Guam collaborative effort is a win for the Navy, the island of Guam and our planet. It will provide clean and affordable energy to all Guam residents, help reduce our use of carbon fuel, and contribute to our military readiness."
The GPA will own, operate and maintain these proposed solar facilities on Navy property, and within the next few months GPA will begin the next phase of the process.
"GPA will contract with private partners for solar photovoltaic (PV) farms," said John Benavente, GPA general manager. "The facilities will be part of the Authority's utility scale renewable project to further diversify our energy resources."
Adding this cost-effective clean energy to the island-wide power grid will provide fuel diversity, increase operational capacity and improve regional energy security for the Navy. In the event of any power outage on island, GPA will have more flexibility to manage the available energy supply, enabling continued mission-critical military operations and other island requirements.
"This is an exciting time for our team and power partners," Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas Commanding Officer Capt. Stephanie Jones said. "The Navy and GPA share a single vision; a vision to produce, deliver and maintain resilient, redundant and sustainable electricity for Guam. To realize this vision, we cannot operate independently. We cannot be successful without each other."
In October 2009, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus promulgated five energy goals for the Department of the Navy (DoN). Among these is that, by 2020, DoN will produce 50 percent of its energy from alternative sources. In support of this alternative energy goal, Secretary Mabus chartered the 1 Gigawatt Task Force to enable DoN to procure one gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy generation capacity by 2020.