DPW lifts stop-work order for solar power project; GPA still expects savings despite delay

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The Department of Public Works has lifted the stop-work order against Korea Electric Power Company (KEPCO), the Korean company charged for the environmental damage to the Marbo Cave area.

However, because of the stop-work order, GPA general manager John Benavente said KEPCO’s completion of its solar farm project has been significantly delayed.

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“They’re looking now at around March or April of next year. So the project’s delayed from December,” Benavente said during the Consolidated Commission on Utilities meeting on Tuesday.

He added: “The first thing they did was meet with me this morning to give me an idea as to how to manage expectations.”

KEPCO’s stop-work order lasted a little more than a month, about 37 days, Benavente said.

He added that KEPCO also lost its short-term financing because of the stop-work order and would need additional time to line up new financing.

Nonetheless, Benavente said the fact that the stop-work order was lifted means good news for ratepayers since the savings from the solar power that will eventually be generated by KEPCO can help lower GPA’s power surcharge.

“The solar power can help us recover up to $5 million to $6 million of fuel costs,” Benavente said.

He added that GPA has almost completed all the power poles and transmission lines connected to the KEPCO solar farm so that upon its completion, the solar power can immediately be deployed to GPA’s system.

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