WAPA Board Approves STX Generator and Conversion of STT Unit to LPG Fuel

WAPA Generator
WAPA Generator (Source file photo)

In an emergency meeting on Friday, the Water and Power Authority Governing Board approved repairs to a generating unit on St. Croix and the conversion of a leased generator on St. Thomas to burn lower-cost propane fuel representing overall operational costs savings.

Repairs to St. Croix Unit 20 will ensure the availability of a reliable, dual-fuel 20-megawatt unit to meet electrical demand and increase both power plant reliability and efficiency. The conversion of St. Thomas Unit 27 will allow the Randolph Harley Power Plant to be operated on 100 percent propane, which will represent savings to both WAPA and its customers.

The board approved:

An increase of an existing contract with Ethos Energy Group to $1.1 million to cover costs of repairs to Unit 20 and a $70,000 contingency should additional work be required to complete all repairs to the generator. Also approved was the purchase of equipment essential to the repairs at a cost not to exceed $480,308.

A contract addendum with General Electric (GE) to upgrade Unit 27 to operate on propane with existing LPG infrastructure at the Harley power plant. While the unit conversion will increase the monthly leased cost, operating the unit on LPG will reduce fuel costs, resulting in overall operational savings.

Board members present included: Chairman Anthony D. Thomas, Vice Chair Noel Loftus, Secretary Juanita Young, Cheryl Boynes Jackson and Director Kyle Fleming.  Director Joel Lee, Hubert Turnbull, Elizabeth Armstrong and Jed JohnHope were excused.