Senators OK 50% renewable energy goal by 2035

SOLAR FARM: The solar farm constructed in Dandan by NRG Renew LLC, shown here in September 2018, provides power to be sold to the Guam Power Authority through a power-purchase agreement. A bill has been introduced in the Guam Legislature seeking to raise the island's renewable energy target from 25% to 50% of total energy production by 2035. Post file photo

The Guam Legislature voted to pass Sen. Amanda Shelton’s measure that would require the Guam Power Authority to have 50% renewable energy in its portfolio by 2035 and 100% renewable energy by 2045.

“This is an important bill for so many of us who love Guam and only want to see the best for our future. The goal here is twofold — to protect our environment and to protect our pocketbooks. We’re moving boldly in initiating this longterm effort toward a more resilient and a more sustainable future for Guam,” Shelton said in a press release.

Bill No. 80 passed with bipartisan support and will now make its way to the governor’s desk for her signature. The legislation builds on Public Law 29-62 which set a goal of 25% renewable energy by 2035. Currently, 6% of GPA’s energy portfolio comes from renewable energy with the agency meeting the 25% renewable energy target in 2022, a full 13 years early.

“The use of solar energy and other renewable energy sources will result in lower power bills, a cleaner environment, and lower dependence on foreign oil. GPA spends nearly $200 million a year in annual fuel costs, money that goes from our local ratepayers and is shipped overseas,” said Shelton. “Money is being exported out of our economy. We have an affinity for locally sourced goods and that can include our energy.”

Sen. Clynton E. Ridgell, a co-sponsor of the legislation, said the legislation also would authorize GPA to engage in distributed generation via a Community Solar Host Program.

Distributed generation is a model for power generation, wherein the generation of power is spread out or distributed across the grid, he said.

Distributed generation allows solar energy to be produced by solar panels on residential, commercial, government or school buildings – saving on the need for land that would otherwise be needed for a solar farm.

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