The Guam Power Authority received ownership of the U.S. Navy’s Apra substation property during a land transfer signing ceremony at the Gloria B. Nelson Public Service Building in Mangilao, Thursday, Jan. 14.
The Apra substation is operated by the GPA and houses approximately $2 million of electric power utility equipment assets.
In 1987, U.S. Public Law 100-202 authorized the secretary of the Navy to transfer ownership of certain U.S. Navy-owned assets to GPA. In 1996, GPA began operating the Navy assets under a 50-year GPA-Navy lease agreement pending remediation of the properties in accordance with federal and local laws. Having met the requirements under the public law for the Apra transfer, and in partnership with the governor’s office, the Guam Legislature, and the Public Utilities Commission, and with the approval of the Consolidated Commission on Utilities, GPA continues to work with the Navy for future transfers.
“This land transfer has been 33 years in the making and is the first of many that the Navy has committed to, so it is truly a monumental event,” said Capt. Tim Liberatore, commanding officer, Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Marianas and regional engineer, Joint Region Marianas. “I want to thank both teams and give credit especially to our real estate business line, Karianne Camacho and Cynthia Blas. To paraphrase Astronaut Neil Armstrong, it's one small piece of land, one giant leap for Guam, and highlights the Navy’s commitment to One Guam and the net-negative pillar of that initiative. I look forward to future land transfer events and accelerating those transfers.”
The One Guam pillar was one of four pillars established in 2011 by the then-Under Secretary of the Navy Robert Work. They are seen as a commitment by the Navy to Guam that the military buildup, including the construction of a base and other facilities to accommodate the realignment of U.S. Marine Corps troops to Guam, would benefit Guam.
The One Guam pillar refers to improvements to Guam infrastructure. The Net-negative pillar isn a commitment to reduce the Department of Defense footprint on the island.
The transfer of the Apra substation to GPA is the first, and paves the way for more U.S. Navy property and assets to be transferred to GPA, including approximately 80 miles of transmission lines, 17 miles of distribution lines, 16.5 miles of fuel lines and five sites totaling 37 acres. GPA has been maintaining and operating these assets for more than 20 years under the GPA-Navy lease agreement.
“Today’s land conveyance is the culmination of many years of collaboration between GPA and the Department of the Navy to partner and build an electrical infrastructure that will serve our entire community. Our work is not over, as this is the first of several transfers to come,” said John Benavente, general manager, GPA. “I applaud the work of the professional employees of GPA and the U.S. Navy for their continuous work to fulfill the One Guam goals.”
“The Apra substation is a critical link within the islandwide power system, which will connect to the 115kV transmission line Hanwha, renewable energy provider, will be constructing in partnership with GPA to link 60 megawatts of solar energy being built in southern Guam,” Benavente said. The Apra substation serves over 2,200 families and businesses in Agat and Santa Rita villages; and, through one of its feeders, provides backup support to U.S. Navy power distribution lines in the area. GPA is the sole provider of bulk electricity to the U.S. Navy.