VIDEO: Alt Energy Industry Supports Bill #74; So Does GPA, With Reservations

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Guam – Speaker Judi Won Pat’s bill allowing Guam DOE to enter into alternative energy partnerships with private firms drew the biggest crowd Monday at a hearing held by Vice-Speaker Cruz’s Government Operations Committee,

Bill #74 would authorize the Department of Education to enter into public-private energy contracts to help lower the cost of power for the island’s struggling public schools.

READ Bill #74 HERE

The Speaker was inspired to introduce the bill following a similar public-private partnership that led to the installation of solar panels on the roof of St. Francis School in Yona.

 Private businesses that stand to benefit from the measure turned out to testify in favor of it.

GPA General Manager John Benevente also supported the measure, with reservations.

He said GPA recommends a threshold be set up stipulating that the the purchase price of any solar system be less than 80% of GPA’s existing rates. [see his testimony below].

READ General Manager John Benevente’s TESTIMONY on Bill #74 below:

READ the letter from GPA GM Benevente’s testimony to Vice Speaker Cruz HERE

May 13, 2013

The Honorable Benjamin J.F. Cruz
Vice-Speaker
32nd  Legislature
Suite 107
155 Hesler Street
Hagama, GU 96910

Dear Vice-Speaker Cruz:

Thank you for giving the Guam Power Authority an opportunity to testify on Bill 74-32, an act to authorize  the Department of Education to enter into a public-private renewable energy purchase agreement.

GPA has been a leader in the community with regards to renewable energy and we support renewable energy projects that can lower the cost of energy for all GPA customers. GPA has contracted for 35,000KW of renewables and is in the process of procuring an additional 45,000 KW within the next year. 

These projects will beneñt all ratepayers.

We support net metering projects as established by law, which are projects similar to those proposed in this  bill.

We have a few concerns with the Bill 74-32 as written:

l) The legislation needs to be clear that Guam Procurement laws and regulations apply to this transaction.

2) We believe there should be a threshold set up that the transaction is only feasible if the purchase price of solar is less than 80% of GPA’s existing rates. GPA is constantly seeking opportunities to lower costs and it would be unfortunate if GPA’s costs were lowered and Guam taxpayers were
burdened with higher costs than those charged by GPA.

3) We believe that within 90 days from the implementation of the new program, the Department of Education should provide a comprehensive report detailing the amounts paid to the Guam Power Authority, the amounts paid to the private provider, and the amounts saved on behalf of the
taxpayers on Guam. This report should be provided to the Guam Legislature and the Guam Power Authority to help us make better infomed decisions regarding future renewable energy projects.

Thank you again for the opportunity to provide our views on this bill.

Yours truly,
John M. Benavente, P.E.
General Manager, Consolidated Utility Services