CUC asks for CPA lots for 2 standby power plants


The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. wants to obtain some real properties of the Commonwealth Ports Authority for standby power plants that it intends to build on Saipan and Rota.

At an Aug. 27 CPA committee meeting at the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting classroom, CUC executive director Gary Camacho said that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded CUC a $7.3-million grant for standby power plants. One of the locations will be at Isley Field and will provide 1.5 megawatts of power to an uninterrupted water supply that will help provide water in case of a natural disaster, and will also provide emergency backup power to the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport.

On Rota, CUC will construct a 1.5-megawatt power plant near the Rota International Airport, and will also provide emergency power to the airport and residents who are near the Sinapalo Village. This power plant will also provide emergency power in case Rota’s Power Plant 1 is unable to provide electricity due to natural disasters.

Camacho said that, once completed, the new power plants won’t be used regularly and only during an emergency that affects the water supply.

Yvonne Cabrera of the CUC’s water division said that the proposed power plant at Isley Field will also provide water to the southernmost part of Saipan.

On Rota, Camacho said that CUC is anticipating to acquire CPA’s property for either a long-term lease or permanent purchase. On Saipan, he’s hoping for CPA to transfer a portion of its property at Isley Field to CUC.

CPA board chair Kimberlyn King-Hinds wants to see more details on the proposed plan but says that it’s a “win-win” for the CNMI. (Justine Nauta)

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