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WAPA Board Approves Three-Year Rental of 20-Megawatt Generator for St. Croix For $23.8M

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CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The governing board of the Virgin Islands Water & Power Authority (WAPA) addressed several power generation-related issues at its monthly meeting Thursday on St. Thomas.

The WAPA board authorized Executive Director Lawrence Kupfer to enter into a lease agreement with Aggreko, LLC for the rental of a 20-megawatt generating unit to bolster generation capacity at the Estate Richmond power plant on St. Croix. WAPA will lease the unit for three years, at a cost of $23.8 million dollars.

The leased unit will replace Unit 16, which suffered catastrophic mechanical issues in 2017, and has been unavailable. The Aggreko unit will improve loss of load probabilities, improve heat rates during operation, replace a less efficient unit, and generate net savings of approximately $6 million over a two-year period.

For the Randolph Harley power plant on St. Thomas, the board approved a contract cost increase with APR Energy’s third leased generator, Unit 27. The increase was necessary to facilitate the rerouting of the unit’s electrical interconnection and piping components.

The board also authorized negotiations for an extension of the lease term between WAPA and APR Energy for the original 20-megawatt generator, Unit 25. The three-month increase extends the overall lease to July 1, 2018, at an additional cost of $1 million.

The board approved the utility entering into a power purchase agreement with Caribbean W2E Conversion USVI. WAPA will purchase electrical energy from the company’s waste-to-energy conversion systems on both St. Thomas and St. Croix.

Caribbean W2E Conversion USVI is a qualified facility approved by the Public Services Commission (PSC), pursuant to the Cogeneration and Small Power Production Act, which requires that WAPA negotiate and enter into power purchase agreements with facilities certified by the PSC.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean region since 1989. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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