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WAPA Approved to Purchase Two Units for Randolph Harley Plant

(Friday, March 21, 2014)


WAPA Approved to Purchase Two Units for Randolph Harley Plant

In their Thursday, March 20 meeting, the Governing Board of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority approved the purchase of two generating units that will improve the efficiency and reliability of the Authority’s Randolph Harley Power Plant, and will aid in reducing production cost. 

A contract with Wood Group Power Solutions, Inc., in an amount not to exceed $15,500,000, was approved for a turnkey project that includes the procurement, engineering, installation and commissioning of a fully refurbished LM2500 gas turbine to be installed at the Randolph Harley Power Plant on St. Thomas.  This unit will replace the current Pratt and Whitney Unit #22, which cannot be converted to use propane, and can be installed using the existing unit’s foundation, generator and exhaust stack, thereby maintaining EPA compliance and minimizing the cost for installation.  “This unit is equivalent to Unit #25 TM2500 in generation output and heat rate,” said WAPA Chief Operating Officer Gregory Rhymer, “and will be commissioned with dual fuel capability.” 

The Board also approved a contract totaling $4,315,330 for a new surplus Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HSRG) for the St. Thomas Randolph Harley Power Plant. The 6B HRSG will be purchased from Sigma, LLC for $2,990,330 which includes the transportation and storage of the unit, and will be designed and retrofitted by Hamon Deltak for the remaining $1,325,000.  This unit allows for combined cycle operation with the Authority’s Units 11 #13 steam turbines.  While WAPA was able to procure this unit at a surplus price, the unit has never been used.  Rhymer explained the unit was initially made for a refinery that decided to pursue other business ventures after the HRSG had already been designed and fabricated.  A new unit similar to this HRSG would cost approximately $7,102,830.  Hamon Deltak is the OEM for this unit, as well as the Authority’s current Unit #21 HRSG at the Harley Plant.

“The procurement of these units will bring additional relief outside of what we’ll see with the propane project,” said WAPA Executive Director Hugo V. Hodge.  “Additionally we will have the flexibility of running our generators in combined cycle which offers free power generation and presents additional savings to our ratepayers.” Hodge noted that the LM2500 will be in operation by the end of 2014, and the 6B HRSG in approximately sixteen months.  The procurement of these units is made possible by the Fuel Tax funds as generated pursuant to Act 7360.

Executive Director Hodge told the board members that he has directed his staff to develop and issue an RFP for an additional 20MW unit for the St. Thomas district and a 10MW unit for St. Croix.   According to Hodge, the St. Thomas unit will be used to return the desired capacity to the Randolph Harley plant and the St. Croix unit will be used to balance the load curve on that island in the most efficient manner.

The board also took the following actions:

  • Approved $319,810 for the purchase of distribution automation (DA) switches and reclosers from S&C Electric Company.   This project will result in correcting faults and rerouting power around the faulted area at a faster rate, further reducing the impact and duration of outages.  Funding is provided through a grant from the Department of the Interior.
  • Approved the extension of time needed to fully complete Unit #16 major overhaul from January 2014 to May 2014. The unit is currently online and the work has been completed.  The time extension allows for performance acceptance testing, and does not require any additional funding.
  • Approved a total cost budget of $1,372,065 for the industrial liquidation of the Israeli Desalinization Equipment (IDEs) #1 & #2 at the Randolph Harley and #3 & #4 at the Estate Richmond Power Plants.  This budget includes a contract to RG Engineering for $1,193,099.88 for the liquidation, and an additional 15% contingency to complete the scope of work to include permits and unforeseen circumstance.  These units are no longer operational since the Authority switched to producing water through reverse osmosis, and need to be removed from the properties to make room for new projects, reduce insurance costs, lower safety risks and reallocate maintenance money to productive equipment in the plants.
  • Approved $457,869 to Sulzer Turbo Services for additional repairs of Unit #18 Gas Turbine. During the inspection and repairs of the unit and generator rotors, it was determined that additional repairs were needed beyond the initial scope, to include replacing the Retaining Rings. Once completed Unit #18 will be back to manufacturer’s specification.
  • Approved the VIenergize (pronounced “vy energize”) Services business plan (“VIeS”) to allow the creation of a business unit within the Authority which will offer additional support to the clean energy strategy goal of reducing the territory’s dependency on fossil fuels by 60% by 2025.  The VIeS unit will monitor the net metering program and other green energy programs such as solar, wind, and the impact of biomass to the Authority’s avoided cost and potential losses of free power.  VIenergize Services is funded through a $600,000 grant from the Department of the Interior.
  • Approved a resolution to ratify a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between WAPA and viNGN regarding the use of certain of the Authority’s communication facilities and infrastructure, and WAPA’s right to receive up to 8 strands of dark fiber for use in connection with the “smart grid” supervisory control and data acquisition applications.

Board members in attendance at Thursday’s meeting were Chairman Attorney Gerald Groner, Vice Chair Juanita Young, Secretary Noel Loftus, Planning Committee Chair and VIEO Director Karl Knight, Cheryl Boynes-Jackson, Donald Francois and Elizabeth Armstrong. Planning and Natural Resources Commissioner Alicia Barnes as well as Licensing and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Wayne Biggs were excused.

            For additional information about WAPA’s initiatives visit or