'Explore thermal energy on Pagan Island'
Friday, January 22, 2010
By Moneth Deposa
The chairman of the Commonwealth Retirees Association, Juan M. Sablan, is urging the U.S. military to explore thermal energy on Pagan Island for its energy requirements when it relocates troops to Guam.
There are about 8,600 Marines and about 9,000 of their dependents that will be transferred from Okinawa, Japan, to Guam starting in 2012.
Because Guam cannot accommodate all training for the relocating Marines, the military looks at Tinian to provide opportunities for training groups.
Tinian is only about 100 miles or 160 km away from Guam and two-thirds of its land is leased to the U.S. Department of Defense.
Sablan, in his letter to the military yesterday, said that since the military will demand more electricity for buildings, homes, and other facilities, he recommends that they consider investing in green energy, which would be beneficial to all.
“Instead of investing in a power plant that is run with diesel, the military should seriously look into investing money in green energy, free energy by utilizing the thermo energy from the active volcano on Pagan Island,” Sablan said.
Sablan believes that this investment will not only benefit the military but the entire population of the Mariana islands.
The CRA chairman pointed out that green energy is a top priority of U.S. President Barrack Obama and his administration.
“If the military utilizes the thermo energy from Pagan Island successfully, the people of Marianas will have a cheap and dependable energy source,” he said, adding that military would be protected from unpredictable sources and fluctuations in oil prices.
He said it has been the desire of the CNMI to make use of the thermal energy on Pagan but all efforts have been halted by financial concerns.
“The real challenge is the cost of harnessing thermal energy from a volcano and transmitting it to Saipan. It is beyond the financial capability of the CNMI government to make this project feasible,” Sablan said.
The Guam military buildup is estimated to cost $15 billion to $20 billion. Besides the relocation, it also involves the construction of a new deep-draft wharf in Apra Harbor, Guam to support a transient nuclear powered aircraft carrier.