CNMI Senate Approves 20% Renewable Energy Target By 2016

admin's picture

Limitations of grid determine how much renewable power can be added

By Emmanuel T. Erediano

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, April 10, 2014) –The Senate Committee on Public Utilities, Transportation and Communication met yesterday and approved the committee report recommending the passage of a House bill that sets to 20 percent the CNMI’s renewable energy portfolio by Dec. 31, 2016.

Authored by Vice Speaker Francisco S. Dela Cruz, Ind.-Saipan, House Bill 18-165 will amend Public Law 15-35 which set a renewable energy portfolio that was never met.

Dela Cruz’s new bill sets a "realistic" portfolio standard and deadline for meeting the goal of integrating renewable energy into the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.’s grid.

H.B. 18-165 states that each electricity utility shall establish a renewable energy portfolio standard of 20 percent on or before Dec. 31, 2016.

In an interview yesterday, Reyes, R-Saipan, said the committee agreed that the ideal renewable energy portfolio for the island is 20 percent. He said he believes it is adequate to make the grid work efficiently.

According to the renewable energy integration study conducted by DNV-KEMA Energy & Sustainability, "Experience with other island systems has shown that storage is needed for ramp-rate control once the total renewable energy generation reaches about 20 percent of peak load and that the ramp rate needs to be limited to less than about 10 percent of rated photovoltaic (or wind) capacity per minute. This assumes that the renewable energy generation is geographically dispersed and not concentrated in a single area. This is important, especially for photovoltaic because rapidly changing cloud cover will not affect all the generation at nearly the same time."

Reyes said that in order for the CUC grid to integrate renewable energy "we need to limit it to 20 percent."

"Right now, there is higher demand for alternative energy. So in preparation for the possibility of exploring other sources of energy, we need to begin addressing the capacity of our grid to integrate renewable energy. H.B 18-165 will allow that," he said.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment