The VI Water and Power Authority announced that four new production units from Wärtsilä have arrived in the territory, calling it a milestone.
Yet it will take another 15 months before St. Thomas-St. Residents of John can expect more reliable electrical service.
“This is indeed an important milestone for WAPA as the utility shifts to smaller, more efficient and more reliable production,” WAPA CEO Noel Hodge said in a statement announcing the arrival. units of 9 megawatts Wednesday.
Smaller units have less of an impact on customers’ electrical service if a unit trips, he said.
At a Utilities Board meeting on Nov. 12, Hodge explained that the units can burn propane and diesel and will have a major impact on lowering rates. At the time, however, PSC Commissioner Raymond Williams Sr. stressed that the installation will not be complete for almost a year and a half.
“These units, together with the three original Wärtsilä generators and a battery energy storage system, will provide sufficient generation capacity to meet the peak electricity demand of our customers,” Hodge said in the statement. press release prepared.
The acquisition of the units marks the first time since the mid-1990s that new generators have been purchased and added to the power generation fleet at the Krum Bay power plant, the statement said.
The homes were purchased under the Community Development Black Grant – Disaster Recovery Program, at a cost of $ 95 million.
“Thanks to the hard work of the Office of Disaster Recovery, the Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority and the United States for Housing and Urban Development, the acquisition and installation of the new units is being 100% funded by the federal government, ”Hodge said.
In the statement, WAPA also thanked the Housing Finance Authority for its efforts, noting that the agency has strived to secure 100% housing and urban development funding for the new units, and has stepped up to efforts to enable WAPA to use federal grant funding as a local counterpart. for several of the mitigation projects planned in the territory.
The acquisition of the new generators and the battery storage system is one of the components of a major transformation plan that the Authority is undergoing and which will use significant federal funding provided in the wake of the 2017 hurricanes. , the statement said.
The plan calls for a new generation, additional renewable energies, the installation of composite poles and the burying of power service lines, the statement said.