A stalled wind turbine project left unfinished at Saipan Southern High School for the last handful of years leaves a lot of questions for Board of Education chair Herman Guerrero.
One of them is if the abandoned equipment should be taken off Public School System property.
PSS is not the expenditure or contracting authority for the project, which started all the way back in 2011 during the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act period. The contracting authority is the Division of Energy.
When asked for an update about this issue yesterday, Guerrero said, “There have been problems since the beginning with the project.”
“We are not the expenditure authority [or] the contracting authority. They are just building it on our campus. I don’t know whether the money was used for different reasons…that’s not our problem,” he said.
He said if the company is not finished with the project, then “they are liable.”
Education Commissioner Dr. Rita Sablan was not available for comment yesterday.
In their board meeting last month, Capital Improvement Project committee chair Janice Tenorio updated the board on the turbine project. It was “still the same,” she said.
It was the board’s understanding that the Office of the Attorney General was asked to look into the matter by the government, as “somebody has to reimburse the federal government back” for the unfinished project.
The project’s deadline was March 31, 2015, which was apparently missed.
“We were expressing concerns that perhaps if they are not going to work [on it], then perhaps they need to remove the equipment from our property, because it’s just going to create problems for us later on,” Guerrero said then.
As reported in 2011, the Division of Energy gave PSS approximately $2.4 million from the $6.5 million it received from the U.S. Department of Energy for Renewable projects for the completion of this effort. The project was awarded to Pacific Green Integrated Technology Inc. and Pacific Wind & Solar LLC in September 2010.