The Hotel Association of the Northern Marianas Islands is a little apprehensive whether the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.’s proposed incentive rate tariff for large commercial customers will work.
This comes as the proposed master incentive rate contract that was agreed upon between the regulatory Commonwealth Public Utilities Commission and CUC for large commercial customers is close to being finalized. CPUC consultant Georgetown Consulting Services is now reviewing the final version of the contract that CUC wants to ink with large commercial customers.
Yet several large commercial customers are still on the fence about the plan.
“[This is] because the large commercial customers have always had their own generators for many years. It is more difficult to switch over to CUC,” said HANMI president and Hyatt Regency Saipan general manager Nick Nishikawa in an interview with Saipan Tribune.
CUC executive director Alan Fletcher said they want to put large customers on the grid and that some large customers are now just waiting for the approval of the rate.
The proposed incentive rate tariff targets three classes of commercial customers.
First are commercial customers with generation capacity of 400 kW or greater and generate 90 percent or more of their annual electric needs. Second are commercial customers that expand their existing facility that results in an increased load of 200 kW or greater or expand their hotel by 75 rooms or greater. Third are new commercial customers with electric generation capacity of 400 kW or greater.
“We have to consider many things. Of course we want to support CUC because it is a public utilities [agency] that helps the CNMI’s electricity but at the same time we have to think of our business as well and that is why we still can’t decide on that yet if we want to [connect] or not,” Nishikawa said.
According to CPUC chair Joseph Guerrero, they will receive comments on the proposed contract that CUC had sent for the regulatory commission to review around this month.