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(Thursday, October 27, 2011)


Due to the large number of high quality bids, the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority has postponed the short list announcement date of qualified bidders who responded to the request for proposal from Independent Power Producers for Solar Photovoltaic Generation. Originally, the short list was scheduled to be announced on October 25, but has been changed to November 18. All bidders have been notified, in writing, of the new date.


WAPA Executive Director Hugo V. Hodge Jr. says the additional time is needed to fully evaluate the 27 proposals the Authority received by the September 27 deadline. The 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 experts, is in the process of reviewing the submissions. 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. 


The Authority is seeking photovoltaic generation to assist in lowering the cost of power production in the territory and diversify our generation by adding renewables to the grid. 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. A guaranteed commercial operation date has been set for December 2013.


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