By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The U.S. Navy and Guam Power Authority have signed a new 10-year utility service contract that extends through 2032.
“Today’s event wasn’t just a signing ceremony; it is the continuation of the tremendous collaboration and commitment we have with the Navy. The Navy is a critical customer and a valued community partner as well,” GPA General Manager John Benavente said after signing the contract at the utility headquarters in Fadian on July 15.
The new agreement will also allow the Navy to transfer power assets, including substations and transmission and distribution lines, to GPA at no cost.
GPA's first customer agreement with the Navy took place in 1992 when they signed for two 10-year terms.
Capt. Tim Liberatore, commanding officer of NAVFAC Marianas, said the contract allows the Navy to continue operating its facilities that are critical to homeland defense.
"Given the strategic competition, the next few years will continue to challenge the Department of Defense and our joint forces that are located in or deployed to Guam," Liberatore said. "We are grateful for our collaborative partnership with GPA that affords us the opportunity to work together to provide for our community."
Benavente said 15 percent of GPA's revenue comes from the energy supplied to the Navy, which pays $19 million a year.
"The Navy is GPA’s largest customer. We appreciate the Navy’s commitment as a power customer as well as its dedication to keeping our island and our nation safe,” he added.
Lt. Gov. Joshua Tenorio said the new agreement represented the military's confidence in GPA. "As Capt. Liberatore said, ‘this is a very dynamic time,'" he added.
Joey Duenas, chairman of the Consolidated Commission on Utilities, said the contract extension indicated the Navy's confidence in the future of energy generation on Guam. "This is a proud moment for GPA and all of its knowledgeable, hardworking, and dedicated employees," he said.