GARAPAN Saipan — PTI is commissioning a study that would determine whether it is possible to use wind power as an alternative energy source in the Northern Mariana Islands according to Ricardo “Ricky” Delgado chief executive officer of the company.

Delgado said the move was part of efforts to cut down on utility expenses following the local government’s decision to increase the rates by 100%. The hike took effect on July 22.

“Our power bills have doubled. We are feeling the pain like all the consumers ” Delgado said.

No amount was immediately available but Anthony Mosley chief operating officer of PTI; said the increase in the telecom company’s utility bills has been “significant.”

Delgado said the company commissioned a U.S.-based company that is also accredited by the federal government to do the study in mid-September.

“We should have results in the next 30 to 45 days. They’re  doing wind test now to see if it is viable here ” Delgado said.

Wind and solar power were among alternative energy sources recommended during the Marianas Roundtable discussions organized by the Saipan Chamber of Commerce and held at the Fiesta Resort & Spa on Aug. 31.

Delgado was guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Saipan’s  regular meeting held at the Hyatt Regency Saipan on Sept. 26. He arrived on Saipan on Sept. 25 to take part in a series of week-long events celebrating PTI’s first anniversary in the NMI.

PTI purchased Verizon on Sept. 21 2005. Also on island were representatives from Sumitomo Corp. a Japan-based conglomerate that invested $25 million into PTI’s newly issued shares on Aug. 3.

In his remarks before Rotary officials and members Delgado said the company made efforts to “turn PTI into one that is customer-focused.” He said “We’ve made investments in the customer service section.” Delgado said the company’s customer service before “did not seem like a place that was cheerful happy and customer-friendly. And now I think we’ve done a good job at improving it ” he said adding that the company has hired people who speak different languages – Filipino Korean and Chinese among them – to “take care of our different customer groups.” MBJ