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GPA: Guam still on track for 100% renewable energy by 2045

Updated: Apr 9


John Benavente, GPA general manager, provided an update on Guam's renewable energy goals. Photo courtesy of UOG.

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

 

The Guam Power Authority said Guam is still on track to achieve total renewable capacity by 2045.


"Looking around, I am encouraged that we as an island can make it happen," John Benavente, GPA general manager, said Monday at a forum preceding the official opening of the 15th University of Guam Conference on Island Sustainability at the Hyatt Regency Guam.

 

Under Public Law 35-46, Guam has set ambitious targets for renewable energy.


The aim is to achieve 50 percent by 2035 and 100 percent by 2045. This commitment is a crucial step towards reducing the island's reliance on imported fossil fuels and encouraging the use of clean and renewable energy sources.


Benavente is optimistic about achieving this target even before that date.


"Why do we do this? We do this because we want to preserve our environment. We want to protect our land, our water and our air. And we want to have a livable, clean environment not just for our generation but for our children and our children's children," Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said.

 

In his presentation on "The Journey to Affordable, Reliable, Resilient Energy on a Sustained Basis," Benavente emphasized the importance of partnerships across different sectors to make this happen.

 

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It has been a year since Typhoon Mawar pummeled Guam and wrecked the island's utility infrastructure. GPA has since recovered from the disaster, Benavente said.


He said the islandwide power system did not experience a total blackout during the storm despite the 150 mph winds. Benavente said GPA's investment in electric grid infrastructure, including concrete and steel hardening projects, contributed to early restoration efforts.

 

"Recoveries from similar typhoons (such as Pongsona) have historically taken months," he said.

 

Meanwhile, despite this temporary challenge, he reported progress in expanding GPA's renewable resources. He focused on projects necessary to drive Guam's clean energy transition, including investments in energy storage systems to add reliability to the grid.

 

At the symposium, Joey Duenas, chairperson of the Consolidated Commission on Utilities, emphasized the importance of becoming carbon neutral, carbon negative, and water positive. Citing the example of the Cabras power plant that currently uses seawater for cooling, Duenas said GPA is exploring using effluent water from wastewater treatment plants for this purpose. 

 

From April 8 to 13, the University of Guam Conference on Island Sustainability will feature presentations and sessions focusing on the theme "Sustainability Endures."


Key topics at the conference include climate change adaptation, renewable energy solutions, waste management strategies, and community resilience.

 




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