Dela Cruz wants CUC to revisit Leidos report
Rep. Francisco S. Dela Cruz (R-Saipan) wants the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. to revisit the recommendations of Leidos Engineering LLC almost two years since the report first came out to see if its power generation source recommendation is a cost-effective, feasible, and reliable.
Leidos is involved in power grid engineering, energy management and efficiency, smart grid planning, and consulting, utility security, energy asset advisory, critical infrastructure systems, system integration and controls, and environmental sciences.
It is a Fortune 500 company commissioned to make recommendations on what type of power generation source would be viable in the CNMI. Leidos is based in Reston, Virgina. It earned $5.09 billion in 2015.
Dela Cruz chairs the House Committee on Public Utilities and Communication. Rep. Francisco C. Aguon (R-Saipan) is its vice chair and Reps. Joseph Leepan T. Guerrero (R-Saipan), Jose I. Itibus (R-Saipan), Edwin P. Aldan (R-Tinian), and Blas Jonathan T. Attao (Ind-Saipan) are its members.
Dela Cruz intends to request an audience with CUC officials for a briefing on the current state of power generation, water, and wastewater. “We’re experiencing fast growth, especially on Saipan. Does CUC have the capacity to provide the necessary infrastructure? We want to hear their plans and only CUC can give us the answers,” he said.
Dela Cruz said the Leidos report was funded by the federal government and was commissioned to determine the types of alternative power the CNMI should get into.
“I believe the report was shelved. Why? Did it not meet the standards of what the CNMI needs? Those are questions that I plan to put on the table, why was the report not incorporated?”
The report, which cost the federal government close to $500,000, had to do with CUC’s long-term plans for its structure, most especially its power generation. Alternative sources of energy were included in the Leidos report.
“I believed that the Leidos report made strong recommendations as to what CUC should be looking out for. But unfortunately, those recommendations were maybe ignored. I don’t know what really happened and we want to find out,” he said. “We want to know if these energy sources are viable for the CNMI.”
Dela Cruz said he would also look into the wind turbines that were also funded by the federal government that were just left stored in Koblerville. The wind turbines, according to Dela Cruz, were given to the Department of Public Works’ energy office. “These wind turbines are just lying on the ground in Koblerville.”
“I was flying over last week and I looked down and they have four or five wind turbines just lying down on the ground. These are federal funds that we received to put those things in and it was supposed to lessen the energy cost for [the CNMI Public School System]. Now they are just lying on the ground.”
He said he wanted to know more why it was never used, since the wind turbines would supposedly assist public schools on power generation. “They are not working. We put them up there. Everybody is cutting up ribbons and we’re seeing all these things just lying there on the ground. Why? Do we have the knowledge and expertise on island to maintain these turbines or are they defective? We can’t continue to waste money, most especially federal funds. The Leidos report, we threw it on the side. Then we have new ones for the school and leave it lying on the ground.”