OIA/NREL Territorial Energy Program CNMI Status Update

Commonwealth Utilities Corporation (CUC) 2015 Integrated Resource Plan

Briefing Paper 

CUC Integrated Resource Plan Fact Sheet

In March 2010, senior officials from CNMI, American Samoa, Guam, DOI, DOE and DOD met at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO to discuss energy efficiency and renewable energy strategies for the territories. CNMI was represented by Governor Fitial and the delegation included CUC and NMC. OIA has funded NREL to provide technical assistance to CNMI for the past four years. NREL assistance will continue to be available through September, 2015. Approximately $402,000 has been expended to date on efforts in the CNMI. The following paragraphs discuss highlights.

CNMI Energy Task Force. The CNMI Energy Task Force (ETF) met regularly in 2011, and periodically in 2012 and 2013.  The main activity of the ETF in 2013 was to facilitate meetings related to the development of the Strategic Energy Plan and Energy Action Plan as described below. Approximate budget $148,600.

CNMI Initial Technical Assessment Report. Published July, 2011. Provides baseline energy system data including fossil fuel consumption and costs, electrical generation system profile, inventory of policies and regulations, and a detailed analysis of wind, solar, biomass, waste to energy, and energy efficiency opportunities for CNMI. Approximate budget $141,000. Click here to find the latest report.

CNMI Strategic Energy Plan. Published July, 2013. CNMI’s Strategic Energy Plan (SEP) builds off the initial assessment report as well as numerous ETF meetings. The CNMI SEP explores scenarios for achieving a 20% - 53% reduction in fossil fuel consumption by 2026. Achieving a 53% reduction is only possible if base load renewables such as waste to energy and geothermal are developed. The SEP presents policy options, energy efficiency and renewable energy technology deployment strategies, education and outreach campaign descriptions, and discusses other energy options such as LNG and modular nuclear. Approximate budget $31,300. Click here to find the latest report.

CNMI Energy Action Plan. Published July, 2013. CNMI’s Energy Action Plan (EAP) identifies three key strategies that can be implemented in the short term to help achieve fossil fuel reductions. The three priority strategies are: 1) develop and implement a demand side management program; 2) develop an eduction and outreach campaign for energy conservation in government agencies and small businesses, and, 3) evaluate the potential for waste to energy Each of these strategies is achievable in the near term. The EAP includes specific actions, timelines, performance metrics, and the party/person who is responsible for implementation each strategy. CNMI’s EAP is meant to be a living document that can be updated on a regular basis. Approximate budget $25,400. Click here to find the latest report.

Technical Support Projects (TSP). In response to requests from the ETF or its member agencies, OIA funds NREL to provide technical support on specific projects. Examples of current efforts include support for CUC’s integrated resource planning (IRP) process, and providing technical input on the geothermal development process. Specific new TSPs for 2014 have not yet been identified. Approximate budget $56,000.