By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The Guam Power Authority is optimistic about its goal of achieving full renewable energy capacity sooner than expected, according to utility leadership who spoke Monday at the Guam Clean Energy Transition Symposium at the 14th University of Guam Conference on Island Sustainability at the Hyatt Regency Guam.
Guam's target for renewable energy is to achieve 50 percent by 2035 and 100 percent by 2045, as stated in Public Law 35-46. The goal is to reduce the island's dependence on imported fossil fuels and promote the adoption of clean and renewable energy sources. According to GPA, the island will achieve 50 percent renewable capacity by 2030.
“We are going to push to get to 50 percent five years before P.L. 35-46,” said John Cruz, GPA Assistant General Manager for Engineering and Technical Services.
GPA is a partner of the UOG CIS and the Guam Green Growth (G3) initiative.
GPA General Manager John Benavente’s presentation also highlighted the energy projects that will enable Guam to reach the halfway point soon, including the commissioning of the Mangilao solar farm and the grid-scale 40 MW Energy Storage Systems in Hagåtña and Talofofo.
Benavente said these projects are all integrated into the island’s Clean Energy Plan, also known as Integrated Resource Plan.
“We are now in the expansion stage. We are now introducing more renewables and getting the infrastructure in place,” Benavente added.
The success of these initiatives also requires community support, according to Cruz.
Meanwhile, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said the government’s renewable energy programs are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the G3 Action Framework.
“Our administration and GPA share a common goal of meeting one of the sustainable development goals by ensuring access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy for all by leveraging federal investments in efficient and clean energy models and making urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts,” she said at the symposium.
Leon Guerrero added that GovGuam policies are keeping up with global trends and practices that built up the island’s clean energy transition.
Around 100 participants attended the renewable energy symposium.
The conference runs through April 15 and will feature presentations and sessions focusing on the theme “Rediscover the Depths of Our Island Abundance.”
The conference will also promote discussions about innovations and strategies that will collectively move Guam toward a sustainable future.