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(Friday, September 30, 2011)

 The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority Executive Director Hugo V. Hodge Jr. is pleased to announce that the utility has received 27 bids in response to its request for proposal (RFP), issued in May, to purchase solar photovoltaic generation from independent power producers. Hodge said, “We are excited about the large number of respondents who have made submissions, and are looking forward to diversifying our generating portfolio by adding renewables to the mix.” The deadline for the submissions was Tuesday.


The Authority is seeking photovoltaic generation to assist in lowering the cost of power production in the territory. The utility will sign a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for the procurement of solar energy from one or more selected respondents, with an option to renew for another 5 years. The selected respondents will be responsible for constructing, operating, and maintaining all facets of the project. The Authority is seeking a maximum of 10 megawatts (MW) of electrical capacity, allocating approximately 5 MW to each of its two generation facilities serving the St. Thomas/St. John and St. Croix districts.


Now that the Authority has received the proposals, the next step is the selection process said Hodge. The documents will be examined by an evaluation committee, which is comprised of WAPA technical personnel, Energy Development in Island Nations (EDIN) representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as other technical and legal consultants. Upon evaluation, the committee will shortlist the bidders, which is expected to occur by October 25, and then begin negotiations with the selected respondents.  The evaluation criteria will include cost effective product pricing; experience; strength of plans for development, construction, operation and maintenance of facilities utilizing commercially proven technology; and financial strength.  A guaranteed commercial operation date has been set for December 2013.


Hodge says the Authority will update the public as the selection process continues.