U.S. Navy Wants To Keep Land Earmarked For Guam Solar Farm

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

‘Tumon Tank Farm’ could be used for other development plans

By Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, April 17, 2016) – The Navy has deferred allowing the Guam Power Authority to use a 20-acre property with a view of Tumon Bay for a solar farm. It intends to keep the land for other defense purposes, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command confirmed Friday.

Called the "Tumon Tank Farm" property, the land parcel has the Bayview and Oceanview hotels and a luxury condominium as neighbors.

The property was one of the eight federally-owned properties the Navy planned to let GPA use as solar power generation sites because they’re in close proximity to transmission lines and/or substations, which would lower interconnection costs. The Tumon Tank Farm is within walking distance to GPA’s power substation across from the Micronesia Mall.

Now that the Tumon Tank Farm development is deferred as an option for GPA leasing, seven sites remain, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command said in a statement.

"The Navy intends to use the Tumon Tank Farm site for other development activities," according to the statement, in response to questions from the Pacific Daily News.

The property will be retained in support of the Navy and the rest of the Department of Defense’s mission, according to NAVFAC Marianas Public Affairs Officer Catherine Cruz Norton.

Objections

Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo had announced in February that she placed a hold on the solar project at the Tumon Tank Farm, as ranking member of the House Readiness Subcommittee. Bordallo’s position was based solely on objections that were raised by the Garrido and Ulloa families, the original landowners of the Tumon Tank Farm, and Governor Eddie Calvo, according to Bordallo’s office.

The remaining seven federal sites that will be developed for solar power can collectively produce an estimated 39 megawatts of electricity, according to NAVFAC.

"This power is to be provided to GPA customers and will help to improve overall energy independence and reliability posture for the (Department of Defense) and Guam as a whole, increased renewable energy will serve to reduce energy costs and provide an economic buffer for the island against volatility of fossil fuels," according to NAVFAC’s statement.

The Tumon Tank Farm was projected to provide about four megawatts of power.

The Navy and GPA expect to enter into a lease agreement sometime this spring for the seven proposed solar power generation sites.

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