Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Esther Kia’aina announced Friday nearly $600,000 in grant assistance to the Guam Power Authority through the Office of Insular Affairs’ Empowering Insular Communities Program to complete the Guam Wind Power Pilot project.
This grant supplements $1.5 million previously awarded by OIA and the project is expected to be completed by the end of summer 2015.
The grant supports an ongoing pilot project to install a 275-kilowatt wind turbine in Cotal, Guam, in the center of the island, and helps the Guam Power Authority comply with local legislation promoting the development of renewable energy. The grant also assists Guam by providing opportunities to partner with local educational institutions in developing technical trades in support of sustainable energy technologies in the region and serve as a “field classroom” to support future curriculum development and technician trades in wind energy.
“The goal of this wind project is to help reduce Guam’s dependence on imported fossil fuels and diversify Guam’s energy supply,” said Kia’aina. “We are pleased to help the Guam Power Authority gain experience in managing the construction, operation, and grid interconnection of wind turbines now and for determining the viability of larger scale wind turbine projects in the future.”
Guam Power Authority estimates that this wind turbine will reduce carbon emissions by roughly 578,400 pounds per year, contributing to the global fight to reduce greenhouse emissions in the face of climate change.
The Office of Insular Affairs recently completed an extensive permitting and environmental review process for the project that included careful consultation with various local and federal environmental agencies. The wind turbine will be interconnected with Guam’s electrical distribution grid and have a tilting system to allow the turbine to be lowered and secured in the event of typhoon conditions.