PSS is the first school system in region to move to green energy


12,500 solar panels will be installed

Equivalent to planting trees on 25,500 acres, removing 16,200 cars off the road

The Public School System will be installing solar energy systems in all its campuses across the CNMI, making PSS the first school system in the region to move to green energy.

Under the program, more than 12,500 solar panels will be installed throughout the school system to produce 4.1 megawatts of electricity.

According to acting Education commissioner Eric M. Magofna, this is equivalent to planting trees on 25,500 acres, removing 16,200 cars of the road, and not driving 205 million miles.

Magofna informed Senate President Jude U. Hofschneider (R-Tinian) last Sept. 28 that they will be launching the program tomorrow, Thursday, at Marianas High School in front of Building J.

“It has been a long time coming and we are excited to begin our journey toward green energy technology—a cleaner choice of energy,” said Magofna, adding that this will decrease the CNMI’s carbon footprint forever.

Under this initiative, the CNMI government or PSS will have “absolutely zero” capital investment for solar equipment or installation of the solar energy systems, Magofna said in his letter to Hofschneider.

Micronesian Renewable Energy is responsible for the maintenance of the solar energy systems, as well as any repairs and replacements should any of the systems be damaged during a typhoon.

Magofna said these systems are 100% fully insured and at the expense of Micronesian Renewable Energy.

The acting commissioner said PSS will incur energy savings amounting to more than $1 million per year.

He said the systems will be used as educational tools for PSS students as high school students will also have an opportunity to enter an apprenticeship program to learn the electrical and solar energy trade.

Magofna said the initiative will help the CNMI’s economy as there will be an increase in private sector jobs.

He said Micronesia Renewable Energy is committed to only hiring a workforce that calls the CNMI home.

Magofna said this skilled workforce will not only be responsible for constructing each solar energy system, but will also be tasked to maintain these systems for the duration of the agreement.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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