Press Releases

Default text size Larger text size Even larger text size   print
RSS feed
< Back to Main

WAPA Board Approves Negotiations for LED Street Lights

(Wednesday, November 25, 2015)

At its regularly scheduled monthly board meeting, the Governing Board of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority today authorized WAPA Executive Director Hugo V. Hodge, Jr. to negotiate for the purchase, installation and commission of LED street lights for the territory. The negotiations are with Petra Systems, who were successful in the Request for Proposals process. The company’s bid calls for Petra to finance, construct and commission the turnkey project which will see the replacement of all high pressure sodium street lights with new energy efficient LED lights and controls on the Authority’s electrical distribution grid. According to Hodge, the lights will provide enhanced lighting capabilities and reduced consumption. The project will be financed by Petra Systems, and the Authority will have 10 years, with an option to purchase the lights, in which to repay. The final contract, which has a dollar value of $24.6 million dollars, must be ratified by the board once the negotiations are completed and contract terms established.

            The governing board members also rendered their approval to the following items, ranging from repairs of power generators at the two power plants to water pressure management, barge rental to ensure continued uninterrupted delivery of No. 2 fuel oil at the Harley Power Plant, and the Authority’s capital line of credit:

  • Authorized a contract with Virgin Islands Paving in the amount of $336,000 for completion of the Pressure Management Phase II: Booster Pump Stations installation on St. Croix. The project seeks to reduce pressure in areas that are over-pressurized and boost pressure in under-pressurized areas while creating a floating distribution system. The project will reduce line loss and maintenance costs.
  • Extended a contract with Sulzer Turbo Services, at no additional cost, to complete a major inspection of generating Unit 23 to address its reliability, efficiency and availability and to correct unit deficiencies. The contract extension runs through August 31, 2016.
  • Make major repairs to steam Unit #11 resulting from a turbine over speed event. The repairs will allow for the unit to return to service in combined cycle mode, which improves efficiency and reliability.
  • Authorized rotor inspection and repairs to Unit #11. The repairs, estimated at just over $267,000, will facilitate the steam turbine generator’s full return to service.
  • Authorized the executive director to negotiate and enter into a contract totaling $1.6 million with GE Energy Parts for the procurement of gas path components for Unit #23. The components are required to complete the major inspection of the generating unit.
  • Approved two additional spud barge rentals to maintain fuel deliveries at the Randolph Harley Power Plant. The barge, needed due to damage on the south mooring breasting dolphin, is a requirement of both the Coast Guard and the Port Authority harbor pilots. The two barge rentals total $16,000.
  • Approved the purchase of voltage load centers for Units #10 and #11 on St. Croix. The cost for both units under terms of the contract with United Electric Supply will not exceed $800,000. The new switchgear will improve station reliability and capability to operate equipment remotely, which reduces exposure of the operator to an arch flash. The systems will be more safe, reliable and effective than existing switchgear assemblies.
  • Approved an extension of a $1.8 million line of credit with Banco Popular. The line of credit provides continued funding that allows WAPA to acquire Capital Assets of water and electric production, distribution systems and related facilities. The working credit line also provides continued funding to allow the Authority to fund key operating and maintenance expenditures.
  • Approved the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Loan Contract and 5th Supplemental Resolution, and to obtain a $1 Million Letter of Credit from Banco Popular to meet the requirements of the RUS loan.

The “WAPA Working for You” segment of Wednesday’s board meeting was presented by the Authority’s division of Pricing and Rates (P&R).  Mrs. Akeyla Clarke, P&R Manager, along with her team of financial analysts and an engineer, gave an overview of P&R’s role within the Authority.  Among the myriad of responsibilities assigned to the Pricing & Rates division, they serve as the liaison between the Authority and our rate regulators (VI Public Service Commission); they ensure the Authority stays in compliance with our regulatory requirements, both VI Law and PSC Orders; and they are responsible for making sure the Authority maintains sufficient rates to comply with our bond covenants.

In his Executive Director’s Report, Hodge gave an update of the happenings in and around the Authority.  He noted that the crews which were sent to assist the Bahamas with restoration after Hurricane Joaquin have returned.  Kevin Basden, General Manager of the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC), expressed his sincere gratitude for the assistance rendered by WAPA; WAPA linemen recently competed in a Lineman Rodeo hosted by CARILEC. The team came home with 2nd and 3rd place trophies in two categories; The Authority received an award from Tantalus in recognition of the inspirational leadership and commitment to the utility industry; Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Esther Kia'aina, recently met with Mr. Hodge, and toured the Authority’s solar and LPG sites; WAPA had a large representation at this past weekend’s STT/STJ Agricultural and Food Fair.  The Authority provided fair attendees with information into each department, as well as information on the ongoing projects.

Board members present at Wednesday’s meeting included Chairman Atty. Gerald Groner, Vice Chair Juanita Young, Secretary Noel Loftus, IRB Director Marvin Pickering, and Commissioners Devon Carrington and Gustav James. Member Cheryl Boynes Jackson voted by proxy, and Elizabeth Armstrong was excused.

# # #