CUC: Military power demand can be accommodated

Commonwealth Utilities Corp. engineers are currently reviewing utility demand for proposed military training on Tinian, according to CUC executive director Alan Fletcher.

In an interview last Friday, Fletcher said the proposed total power demand on Tinian with military operations could be accommodated with CUC’s extra capacity.

According to the draft environmental impact study for this training, the total increase of electrical power demand would be 1.53 megawatts, or a 34-percent increase from the total demand right now.

This total increase is for all proposed 20-week training alternatives. The draft EIS notes Tinian’s power plant capacity is at 12.5 megawatts. With military operations, an available remaining capacity of 6.47 megawatts would be left.

Fletcher said under their current configuration, this can be accommodated, noting that they shoot to not only have full supply for peak demand but also to have redundant supply.

Asked about future developments like Alter City Group’s hotel casino, he indicated this could still be accommodated with military development.

“[Alter City] have been in and we’ve talked with them. As their plans develop, we’ll be able to have a good feel for what their approach is and what their demands are,” he said.

“At this point…you have engine configurations and you could always add more. We could always expand. Right now, we’ve got adequate capacity. So I think we’re going to be in good shape,” he said.

He said if CUC sells more power, this could help manage their fixed costs, making it less expensive for all customers. “In that sense, growth is good,” he said.

He said for Tinian and Saipan, CUC is designed for a much larger population but has seen the population gone down on Saipan in the last 15 years. “We’ve actually reduced our usage. We’ve got a lot of excess system that we have to maintain,” he said.

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Dennis B. Chan | Reporter
Dennis Chan covers education, environment, utilities, and air and seaport issues in the CNMI. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Guam. Contact him at dennis_chan@saipantribune.com.

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