Green Globe Solutions Guam Inc., along with global logistics provider Agility, sought from lawmakers yesterday a resolution or a 25-year power purchase agreement with the CNMI government for an almost $300 million wind and solar project that Green Globe has been proposing for some three years now.
At a presentation before the Legislature, Green Globe managing partner and founder Chris Thunken also vented his frustration with the Commonwealth Utilities Corp., among other entities, for moving slowly on renewable energy projects.
This is despite the fact that the CNMI has among the highest utility rates on U.S. soil, he said.
He said “CUC is holding you hostage” and that the CNMI needs to “reevaluate who’s telling you what to do.”
Speaker Joseph Deleon Guerrero (Ind-Saipan), during the presentation, took the cudgels for CUC and the CNMI.
He said Green Globe is offering an “unsolicited proposal.”
“Preferably, for me, it’s always good to compete. If you say you have the best proposal, then you won’t have to worry about that,” the speaker said.
Gov. Eloy S. Inos said last week that CUC is close to awarding a contract for a 10-megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant contract with California-based American Capital Energy Co., now that a long-awaited renewable energy integration study is “near complete.”
The study paves the way for investors to work on multimillion renewable energy productions in the CNMI to help lower power costs.
Lawmakers asked for investors’ patience.
Rep. Lorenzo Deleon Guerrero (Ind-Saipan) and the speaker said Green Globe’s proposed rates are undoubtedly much lower than CUC’s 44 cents per kilowatt hour but responding to a request for proposal would still be the best way to go.
Green Globe’s revised proposal is to sell power for 20 cents per kWh, plus 2 cents to help the NMI Retirement Fund.
Depending on how much CUC will charge for distribution, which Green Globe estimates to be 6 to 9 cents per kWh, then the cost to end-consumers would be 28 to 30 cents per kWh.
However, the speaker said Green Globe could drop the 2 cents for the Fund because it will be the CNMI government’s responsibility.
Just the same, the 28 to 30 cents per kWh is still much lower than CUC’s 44 cents per kWh cost, lawmakers said.
Thunken said Green Globe has revised its plan, from 40- to 60-megawatt wind farm and solar energy project on Tinian and Saipan to a 71MW initial phase and expandable to 90MW.
Phase 1, he said, includes 66MW wind power on Tinian and 5MW solar energy project on Tinian and Saipan.
Agility program manager John M. Dennett also met with lawmakers yesterday.
When Senate vice president Victor Hocog (R-Rota) asked what Green Globe/Agility wants from the Legislature, Dennett said they need a “clear signal” that this is “a project that the CNMI embraces.”
Dennett said they are requesting a resolution that could lead to a power purchase agreement that will indicate the “clear signal” they have been seeking.
At the end of the presentation, there was no commitment from the Legislature to draft a resolution or PPA for Green Globe but some lawmakers, including the House PUTC Committee chair, hopes that CUC will move forward with its renewable energy projects and issue an RFP so investors will have a chance to compete and the CNMI will get the best offer.
Green Globe Solutions is just one of the companies that have expressed interest in developing renewable energy in the CNMI.