WASHINGTON, D.C. The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs has awarded U.S. territories a total of $6.8 million to support energy initiatives, with the CNMI getting a total of $1,706,075 that will be divided among four agencies.
The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. will get $1,377,200 to be used for three separate projects. Funds will be used to purchase and install 1,600 pre-pay electrical meters on Saipan and Rota; employ a solar-energy systems engineer to provide the technical professional capacity to make on-site technical and electrical decisions in the field of solar photovoltaic and renewables technologies; and acquire a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system for each of the engines at Power Plant 1 in Lower Base on Saipan.
The CNMI’s Department of Public Works will get $212,920 to increase the amount of Energy Star/Energy efficiency rebates being offered by the State Energy Program as an incentive for residents to replace old and inefficient appliances and reduce overall energy and utility costs.
The Office of the Governor will get $77,530 to apply a cool roof system to three facilities at the CNMI government complex on Capital Hill.
A total of $38,425 will go to the Office of Women’s Affairs to install several energy efficiency measures, including a cool roof system, LED lighting, and window reflective film.
In Guam, the Guam Contractors Association Trades Academy will get $2,248,010 to design and construct a full-size commercial solar photovoltaic panels array and storage facility. This is expected to reduce operational costs and provide a real-life laboratory to train technicians in PV installation and maintenance.
In American Samoa, a total of $1,947,400 will be used for two different initiatives to be conducted by the American Samoa Power Authority.
The U.S. Virgin Islands will get a total of $898,515. The University of the Virgin Islands will get $323,515; the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority will get $575,000.
“Lowering the cost of energy to consumers and business is a keystone to President Trump’s energy initiatives” said Douglas W. Domenech, Interior assistant secretary, Insular and International Affairs. “This support through Interior will fund a range of energy initiatives in the territories that will reduce energy costs and increase energy efficiency by replacing older appliances, analyzing current usage, retrofitting older buildings, and exploring alternative energy options proposed in territorial Energy Action Plans.”
The grant, provided through the OIA’s Energizing Insular Communities program for fiscal year 2020, is broken down into:
The OIA’s Energizing Insular Communities program is made available each year by Congress to support energy priorities in the U.S. territories. For more information on grant assistance provided through OIA, visit: https://www.doi.gov/oia/financial-assistance. (PR)