The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. continues to work on restoring Saipan’s power and water systems with the assistance of local, regional, and federal partners.
Islandwide recovery efforts are being carried out by an international team dedicated to the restoration of Saipan’s generation, transmission, and distribution capabilities. All of the primary lines on each of Saipan’s eight feeders are projected to be online by the end of September and the majority of Saipan should be online by the end of October. As our crews begin work on the lateral lines, customers closer to the primary lines will be among the first to receive power while restoration will take longer for customers further away from the primary lines and those with more damage.
CUC Saipan linemen are currently supported by their peers from Rota, Tinian, Rhode Island, Palau, Yap, Pohnpei, Kosrae, and Guam.
CUC is currently able to generate 43.4MW of electricity through a combination of Power Plant 4 in Puerto Rico and Power Plant 1 in Lower Base. As the restoration of Saipan’s main production facility continues, we expect another 10MW to come online within the next two weeks.
Power Plant 4
Power Plant 4 is currently able to produce 8.4MW of electricity from Generators 2 (2.1MW), 3 (2.1MW), 5 (2.3MW), 7 (.95MW), and 9 (.95MW). The plant is currently standing in reserve.
Power Plant 1
Power Plant 1 currently produces all electricity for Saipan with the capability to generate 35MW. Saipan’s current base load (the demand from customers connected to our network) is at 12.3MW in the early morning hours and a peak load of 17.2MW in the afternoon.
Generator 6 recently came online, which provided an additional 10MW of electricity. The rest of the power is provided by Generators 1 (5.5MW), 2 (4.0MW), 3 (5.5MW), and 5 (10MW). Restoration of the consoles and generators continues, which will lead to additional generation capability in the near future. Generator 7 (10MW) is being dried and a test run is scheduled for next week.
CUC and our partners have erected a power poles on each of Saipan’s eight feeders and are on target to meet our goal of energizing each of the primary lines by the end of September.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has taken the responsibility of recovering and disposing of damaged transformers. As of 2pm, Sept. 16, the CUC/EPA Transformer Team collected a total of 583 downed transformers.
CUC has accomplished its immediate goal to bring limited water service to all villages across Saipan. As our ability to provide power to the island increases, our ability to energize wells will increase water production.
Until CUC is able to energize each of Saipan’s 150 wells, the Water Division is working to deliver islandwide water service, albeit in a limited capacity, using a network of generators from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Limited water service operation testing
Water is pumped into CUC reservoirs overnight through a combination of pumps powered by CUC and by the generators provided by FEMA. Every morning, our engineers and operations personnel record the water level inside of the tanks and calculate how many gallons of water per minute our wells are able to produce.
When water from the tanks is released into the system, our engineers and operations personnel record the water level drop inside of the tank and calculate how much water it takes to pressurize the lines. Once this happens, our crews continue to monitor the water level inside of the tanks to determine how much water is used by customers within the designated service area.
While this happens, our crews also monitor the service area for leaks and dispatch repair crews to problem areas. In order to isolate the service areas, the same crews are responsible for driving through the villages, opening and closing valves.
As each reservoir serves multiple areas, our crews must repeat this process multiple times to ensure that all of our customers receive limited water service.
Given the challenges to water production and distribution posed by Typhoon Soudelor, it is critical for the community to immediately notify CUC of any water leaks by contacting the CUC Customer Call Center at 664-4CUC (4282).
As a precaution, all water provided by CUC will need to be sanitized through the use of chlorine bleach or boiling before it can be used by the community.
For more information, visit our website www.cucgov.org or contact our 24-Hour Customer Call Center at 664-4CUC (664-4282). (CUC)