Torres says CUC board should make decision on IRP ‘soon’

Purchasing of new generators being looked at

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres will be meeting with board members of the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. next week to get updates on the utilities company’s Integrated Resource Plan.

According to Torres, the last time he had an update with the CUC board was “about a month ago.”

“I know that they are going to be making some adjustments. We’ll be meeting them sometime next week,” Torres said.

When asked if he is giving the board a timeline or pressure in making a decision on the IRP—which was supposed help CUC “choose feasible, cost-effective, and reliable resources for their power generation and has been in the works since 2014—Torres said it should not be “this year” but “soon.”

However, Torres also said he wanted the board to think of the best decision.

“I want to give them the opportunity to do what is best,” Torres said. “There is a short- and long-term goal. This is very critical. I don’t want to force them to make decisions that are not well thought out.”

“We continue to look into it in detail. Once the decision is made, then we’ll expedite the course of action,” he added.

Torres said they are also looking into buying new generators for CUC.

“I want to get brand new generators. I want to increase our engines up to 50 megawatt. We’re looking into purchasing generators and we’re seeing what’s available out there,” Torres said.

Asked where they will get the money for additional generators, Torres said they will look at funding opportunities such as the mitigation program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, loans, bonding, or even the private sector if they can contribute.

“Our end goal is to provide utilities that are cheaper and more efficient engines,” Torres said.

He added that new developments coming online that will be hooking up with CUC is also a concern.

“We are concerned that’s why it’s a great opportunity for them to build up after Typhoon Soudelor and working together with the private sector,” Torres said.

Torres also said that he met with CUC acting executive director Gary Camacho to discuss the water status in the CNMI particularly in Saipan.

“We want to have a blueprint of where we’re at,” Torres said.

Frauleine S. Villanueva-Dizon | Reporter
Frauleine Michelle S. Villanueva was a broadcast news producer in the Philippines before moving to the CNMI to pursue becoming a print journalist. She is interested in weather and environmental reporting but is an all-around writer. She graduated cum laude from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in Journalism and was a sportswriter in the student publication.

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