The Commonwealth Health Care Corp. is “on schedule and could possibly end earlier than expected” its construction of the Commonwealth Health Center’s solar project, which will take the form of a covered parking lot at CHC, with the roof made of solar panels.
Warren Villagomez, CHCC Public Health and Hospital Emergency Preparedness Program director, confirmed that the contractor, Micronesia Renewable Energy Inc., is on schedule with the project and is expected to complete it in early 2020.
“At first, we were expecting the construction to end in February but, at this point, with no hinderances in the process, the project could be completed by January,” he said.
Villagomez conceded that heavy rainfall could possibly delay the construction a bit but assured that the project can still be completed within the expected timeframe of January or February 2020.
By the end of this week or at the start of next week, the foundation will be dug up, Villagomez said, to pour concrete into the second half of the structure’s footing. The first half has been completed and concrete poles will be installed soon.
He said the solar panels are now being installed, but are not connected to CHC’s breaker system yet as this requires the full structure to be complete and must pass inspection of both CHCC and Micronesia Renewable Energy.
The project, called the Photovoltaic System Parking Shade Structure, was implemented to aid CHCC in its efforts to save on utility bills. CHCC estimates to save as much as $700,000 a year on its utility bills once the project is completed.
The project was made possible after CHCC received a $560,000 grant from the Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs Energizing Insular Communities program. CHCC expects to use the money it will save from utility expenses for other services at the hospital.
CHC consumes a lot of energy due to 24-hour air-conditioning and its daily equipment use.