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Press Release Details

A Pair Of Electrical Service Interruptions Affect Customers In The St. Thomas-St. John District Friday

Nov 18, 2019
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

 

November 15, 2019

A PAIR OF ELECTRICAL SERVICE INTERRUPTIONS AFFECT CUSTOMERS IN THE ST. THOMAS – ST. JOHN DISTRICT FRIDAY

Plant personnel at the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority are working to determine the cause of two electrical service interruptions which affected customers in the St. Thomas – St. John district Friday afternoon and evening.

“We have determined that an issue with temperature control systems on Unit 23 and another unit tripping offline led to the district-wide service interruption at approximately 2:45 p.m.,” said Clinton T. Hedrington, Jr., Chief Operating Officer of Electric Systems. WAPA’s Unit 15, two rental generators, Units 26 and 27, and two of the Wartsila smaller generators were brought online to facilitate the restoration of service to all customers.

Hedrington said about two hours later, Unit 26 tripped on a fuel system issue and another rental generator, Unit 27, also tripped, however, Unit 15 remained online avoiding a complete loss of generation capacity at the Randolph Harley Power Plant. “Plant personnel restarted Unit 27, and together with the Wartsila propane-fired generators, we restored service to all customers at approximately 6:15 p.m. Personnel are now reviewing data from the units to determine the cause the trips which resulted in the outages,” he said.

Executive Director Lawrence J. Kupfer apologized for Friday’s service interruptions noting that all efforts are being made to bolster the available generation capacity at the Harley power plant in order to bring about more stability and reliability. “We should have Unit 23 back online later tonight, and Unit 25 available by early Saturday.” Unit 25 has been undergoing scheduled maintenance.

 

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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.