The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. is cautious about implementing a law that would require those leasing public lands to connect to the CUC power grid.
CUC executive director Gary Camacho said in a recent interview that they are not strictly implementing Public Law 19-50 just yet until issues are resolved first.
“There are still a lot of things being reviewed and a lot of discussions still need to be had for a clear determination moving forward,” he said.
It is believed that requiring hotels and other commercial establishments built on public lands to hook up and connect to the CUC power grid will be beneficial to all.
“I understand that at one time, CUC didn’t have the ability to be able to provide and sustain power to these places. When CUC was expanding, a lot of these hotels were built and investments were made,” said Camacho.
“If hotels get hooked on the grid, it would be beneficial for everybody. We have to consider the fact when there are more customers and there is more usage from different groups, it helps push down the rate and distribute the cost across the board,” he added.
CUC is aware that the CNMI is rapidly developing and a plan to keep up with the change has become increasingly important as the demand for power, water, and wastewater management in the Commonwealth exponentially grows.
Another issue that needs to be addressed is CUC’s capacity to support new developments on island, especially now that there are a number of hotels that are being built, both on private and public lands.
CUC deputy director William Gilmore said in an interview last August that CUC wants to meet the increased demands and expectations of the developing community.
“We are looking at the power requirements. We are very concerned about getting too far ahead but we do know we need to build more reserve capacity that gives [CUC] more flexibility to respond,” he said.
Gilmore said that building CUC’s reserve capacity will ensure that they can capture more of that power demand.
According to Camacho, CUC is expanding its services to be of better service to the public. Early this month, they launched the pre-paid system that aims to provide customer satisfaction.
“CUC provides a lot of opportunities in terms of net metering and a variety of options. We are exploring possibilities of expanding to other customers,” Camacho said.
“At the end of the day, the more people that come online, it’s less expensive…as everybody gets to push the rate down,” he added.