NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS –- (RealEstateRama) — Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan congratulated Northern Marianas College and the Commonwealth government for successfully competing for two energy grants from the Department of Interior, worth $658,692. Interior announced the awards this week. Funding comes from the Empowering Insular Areas initiative that Congress approved in the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2017, Public Law 115-31.
“The College will be receiving $489,807 to put solar panels on three of its buildings,” Congressman Sablan said, “with an estimated annual cost saving of $37,764.”
The photovoltaic project for NMC is part of the CNMI strategic energy plan.
Also, the Commonwealth government will get $168,885 to study the potential for recovering methane gas from the sanitary landfill in Marpi and from the former Puerto Rico dump site, now the Eloy S. Inos Peace Park. Methane can be used as an alternative to imported fossil fuels.
“The College and the CNMI were competing with American Samoa, Guam, and the Virgin Islands, who also had good proposals and won funding,” Sablan said.
“All the insular areas have extremely high energy costs and need this extra help from Congress to encourage the shift to renewable – and less costly – energy sources.”
President Trump has proposed a cut of $660,000 to the Empowering Insular Communities program for fiscal year 2018, part of his overall reduction of $9.7 million in technical assistance to the U.S. insular areas.