GMH estimates saving $75K with new solar panels – The Guam Daily Post

Micronesia Renewable Energy Inc. will begin installing solar panels onto the roof of the Guam Memorial Hospital by the end of this month.

The rooftop solar photovoltaic system is projected to cost $349,200 and is being funded by the U.S. Department of the Interior Office of Insular Affairs’ Empowering Insular Communities grant program, which awarded GMH a competitive grant of $500,000.

According to GMH Chief Financial Officer Benita Manglona, the money will go toward procuring and employing cost-saving, energy-efficient measures at the hospital. The 432 275-watt panels are estimated to save around $75,000 for the hospital, money that could be used toward buying more medicine, supplies and equipment.

“We know that reducing our dependence on fossil fuel and utilizing alternate, renewable, more eco-friendly, such as PV systems will be No. 1,” she said.

The installation is anticipated to be completed by April 2018.

In January, the Office of Insular Affairs issued an authorization to proceed with the design-build construction services to GMH, indicating that the hospital has met all the requirements of the Empowering Insular Communities grant program to date.

‘A long time coming’

“This is a long time coming, we’ve been waiting eagerly for this to come to fruition,” said Sen. Wil Castro, a member of the hospital management adviser team. “Whenever you’re able to combine both savings and improve the financial position of the hospital and initiate an eco-friendly program, that’s just smart policy.”

He said the solar paneling is just one part of a much larger strategy, highlighting the parking challenges at the hospital and the plan for a multilevel parking facility.

“This is a testament to the good things that the hospital is attempting to do so that they can become a little more financially stable, but it’s one small part of a much larger strategic approach to containing costs and generating revenue.”

The GMH solar project will be one of the most prestigious projects in Micronesia Renewable Energy’s portfolio to date.

According to the company’s construction manager, Sean Carbonneau, modules will continue to produce power even on a cloudy, overcast or rainy day. Given Guam’s different seasons, he acknowledged that there would be fluctuation in the amount of power the panels produce. However, what the system will produce during the dry months will make up for the dip that will take place during the rainy season. He assured the panels would be positioned for maximum sun exposure.

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