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Press Release Details

Members Of The 33rd Legislature Tour WAPA Power Generating Plants on St. Croix And St. Thomas

Oct 12, 2019

 

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The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority
Corporate Communications
NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Jean P. Greaux, Jr., Director of Corporate Communications
340-774-3552 extension 2147 or 340-244-7330

communications@viwapa.vi / www.viwapa.vi

 

October 11, 2019

 

MEMBERS OF THE 33RD LEGISLATURE TOUR WAPA POWER GENERATING PLANTS ON ST. CROIX AND ST. THOMAS


On two days this week, members of the 33rd Legislature toured WAPA’s power plants in Estate Richmond, St. Croix, and Krum Bay, St. Thomas. The tours resulted from an invitation extended to the senators by WAPA Executive Director / CEO Lawrence J. Kupfer.

 “We extended an invitation for the lawmakers to get a firsthand look at the  new, more efficient, and propane-fired Wartsila and Aggreko generators,” Kupfer said, noting that the opportunity to tour the facilities, interact with staff was timely following the extensive testimony WAPA provided the senate recently on all aspects of the utility’s operations. 

 At the plants, senators got an up-close look at the power generating units, control rooms, the Vitol LPG Facilities, the advanced technology in use at the electrical substations as well as the Seven Seas Seawater Reverse Osmosis water production plants.

 On St. Thomas, Plant Superintendent John Woodson III briefed senators on what has been determined to be the root cause of recent service interruptions in the St. Thomas - St. John district. Woodson pointed to pressure regulating valves that govern the fuel flow to two of WAPA’s leased generators. “Our analysis showed that the valves were not providing the volume of fuel supply needed when plant instability occurred resulting in their tripping off-line. With the replacement of the valves, we have seen greater reliability from the two generating units, and, in general, more stable performance.”

 Earlier this year, Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. and members of his executive staff, got a similar tour of the St. Thomas power plant.

 “We are hopeful that the firsthand look at this aspect of our operations coupled with the information provided at the October 1 hearing will provide some insight to the Legislature as we work together with the senators, governor, and other elected officials to ensure a brighter future for WAPA,” Kupfer said.

 The tours of the power plants with members of the Legislature took place on Monday, October 7 on St. Croix, and Friday, October 11 on St. Thomas. “The opportunity to provide lawmakers a first-hand look at WAPA’s operations capped the annual observance of Public Power week which focused on helping customers and stakeholders understand how they can better engage with their community owned utility,” Kupfer said.

 

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The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority is an autonomous agency of the Virgin Islands Government which produces and distributes electricity and drinking water to residential and commercial customers in the territory. WAPA was created by the Fifth Legislature of the Virgin Islands in 1964 through Act No. 1248. Today, WAPA generates electrical power at production plants on St. Thomas and St. Croix, and distributes electrical service through smart grids to customers on St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John, Hassel Island, and Water Island. Potable water is distributed to almost 13,000 customers through water lines and standpipes. WAPA also has the responsibility of installing and maintaining street lights. 

 

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Senators of the 33rd Legislature are briefed by WAPA officials at Estate Richmond Power Plant Electrical Substation on St. Croix. Several lawmakers toured the power plant on Monday, October 7.

Sen 1


Senators tour WAPA facilities including the engine hall housing three new propane-fired, fuel-efficient Wartsila generating units at the Randolph Harley Power Plant.

Sen 2