UOG to build solar carport EV charging facility on Guam
The University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability and Sea Grant will soon embark on a renewable energy project that would support the construction of the first public solar carport charging facility for electric vehicles on Guam.
The Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) has appropriated $1,539,436 under the Energizing Insular Communities (EIC) program for the initiative. The EIC program (formerly called the Empowering Insular Communities program) provides grant funding for energy strategies that reduce the cost of electricity and reduce the dependence on foreign fuels.
With the grant funding, the University will install a solar photovoltaic (PV) carport structure to offset operations of the G3 Circular Economy Makerspace and Innovation Hub at CHamoru Village. Several electric vehicle charging stations will be installed at CHamoru Village on on the UOG Campus.
Once completed, the charging stations will offer the community a convenient and publicly accessible location to power their electric vehicles, according to Austin Shelton, PhD, the director of UOG Sea Grant and Center for Island Sustainability. Strategically, he says, it could also cause a positive ripple effect in the community.
Shelton added that the new grant funding complements current program efforts to update the Guam strategic energy action plan. Last year, the EIC selected the UOG Guam Green Growth (G3) initiative to update the plan in partnership with the Guam Energy Office.
“Now we will be able to lead the development of a plan to create our island’s road map to one hundred percent renewal energy by 2045 to meet the ambitious mandate of Public Law 35-46 that Governor Lou Leon Guerrero signed into law in 2019,” Shelton said at a G3 meeting.
Public Law 35-46 boosts the island’s renewable energy portfolio standard by calling for increased energy production from solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources to power public and private infrastructure.
For fiscal year 2022, the OIA has appropriated a total of $9,998,823 in EIC grants for Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI).
According to OIA, the agency has also signed an interagency agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to provide technical assistance in support of the territories’ continued efforts to deploy clean energy systems, improve energy security and resilience, reduce energy costs, and diversify away from dependence on petroleum-based fuels.