CUC set to acquire 2 power generators

Posted on Dec 23 2022


File photo shows the type of Man Mitsubishi Engine 8.7-megawatt unit generator that the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. has procured for Saipan’s Power Plant 1. One engine is now in transit from Germany, while funding for a second one has been acquired. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. has procured an 8.7-megawatt unit generator and has secured funding for an additional unit.

These new generators will replace two 40-year-old engines at Saipan’s Power Plant 1, with the overall goal to completely replace the plant’s four units.

Initially, CUC was provided funding worth $8 million for the first replacement engine from the Office of the Governor, while the second engine’s funding allocated by the Department of Finance is worth $7.2 million.

According to CUC executive director, Gary P. Camacho, the replacement of this critically important infrastructure is necessary “to stabilize the electrical supply to residential homes, businesses, government offices, and other economic-driven sectors. With the additional new unit, an ample supply of electricity will be generated to keep our water and wastewater facilities operational. It will also solve several of CUC’s biggest concerns with grid stability, failure of unit generators, and the maintenance cycling of its engines.”

Camacho also mentioned that “almost half the power demand will be coming from these brand new, more efficient unit generators, and will greatly assist us with reducing fuel consumption.”

The first unit generator is currently in transit from Germany and is awaiting logistics to be completed by a contractor. “Once it arrives, which is now set for the first quarter of next year, the contractor will provide transport and deliver it to the existing power plant. There they will install, commence, and transfer it to CUC after testing is certified and accepted,” said deputy director for Electric Power System, Dallas M. Peavey and Power Generation manager Richard Cano.

“Then, the contractor will remain with CUC for one year to monitor the new unit generator,” said Camacho.

Along with renewable energy plans such as the utility-scale solar systems, “CUC’s intent is to continue to find ways not only through renewable energies but also through baseload power plants for savings. And we believe that baseload power plants will have a much more significant means of savings by replacing these old units than any other approach that we may have because it is consistent, 24-hour a day savings,” said Camacho.

Leigh Gases
Leigh Gases is the youngest reporter of Saipan Tribune and primarily covers community related news, but she also handles the utilities, education, municipal, and veterans beats. Contact Leigh at

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