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WAPA Board Approves Solar Agreements for 6 Megawatts on St. Croix

(Thursday, January 22, 2015)

WAPA Board Approves Solar Agreements for 6 Megawatts on St. Croix

Meeting on St. Croix Thursday, the Governing Board of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority voted to approve two 25-year Power Purchase Agreements for the development of additional solar capacity on St. Croix. The two solar facilities, to be developed by St. Croix Solar LLC, will be located in Estate Granard on the eastern and Estate White Bay on the western end of the island. The two units will generate a combined six megawatts of electricity and when added to the four megawatts being generated by the mid-island Estate Spanish Town solar facility, and the five megawatts provided through net metering, will represent approximately forty percent of the island's peak power demand.

"The power purchase and interconnection agreements approved by the board today will provide a long term, cost effective and source of electrical energy from a renewable source, while reducing the overall cost of electric energy for customers of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority," said WAPA Executive Director Hugo V. Hodge, Jr. Immediately following the board meeting, principals of St. Croix Solar and Hodge signed the PPAs, which now go to the Public Services Commission for approval.

In other action, the WAPA board approved funding for professional and technical assistance to meet the Authority's consent decree settlement requirements of the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. Arcadis, Inc. will provide assistance, in the form of master service agreements, with an upcoming EPA consent decree at the Randolph Harley Power Plant on St. Thomas and will work on satisfying requirements of an already existing decree at the Richmond Power Plant on St. Croix. Funding approved Thursday totals $300,000 for St. Croix and $540,000 for St. Thomas. Hodge explained that the authority is mandated in its air operating permits to comply with national air quality standards. The master service agreements would provide third party assistance to maintain compliance with the current consent decree on St. Croix and the proposed consent decree on St. Thomas.

The board approved Hodge's request for a fuel supply contract to be executed between February 1 and June 30, 2015. "The contract is with Trafigura AG for the supply of number two crude oil to WAPA's power plants on St. Thomas and St. Croix. The current fuel oil supplier has advised WAPA of notice from HOVENSA on its intent to terminate their current fuel storage agreement on March 1, 2015. The notice of intent for closure of HOVENSA gives the current supplier the right to terminate the fuel supply contract with 30-day notice. The contract contains language that allows for a 12-month extension and successive extensions as agreed to by Trafigura and WAPA," Hodge said.

The Board also took the following action:

• Rescinded the Governing Board summary approval dated July 24, 1014; award of a contract to Industrial Tank Cleaning, and to allow the Authority to re-bid the proposal. Pursuant to the contract, Industrial Tank Cleaning was to provide sludge removal from the bottom of the oil storage vessels. After the contract was prepared, the company realized they could not perform the work as originally bid due to higher cost of shipping and availability of material. The Authority decided to rebid the contract to allow for more competitive bids.
• Approved increases in Fiscal Year 2015 vehicle maintenance budgets for St. Thomas and St. Croix
• Acted favorably on a request to re-establish a customer deposit bank account. The account will segregate customer deposits from operating funds for accounting and record keeping purposes.
• Approved a contract for $437,300 to Leumus Engineering Group to repair and pave the Richmond Pump station parking lot and driveway. The repair and paving would eliminate the excessive runoff from the pump station parking lot, which currently accumulates in the power plant with the plant runoff.
Board members in attendance at Thursday’s meeting were Chairman Atty. Gerald Groner, Vice Chair and Finance Committee Chair Juanita R. Young, Secretary Noel Loftus, Donald Francois, and Elizabeth Armstrong. Cheryl Boynes Jackson was excused.

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