WAPA Lays Underwater Cable from Red Hook to Frank Bay

WAPA officials at Frank Bay oversee Kerite Cable Service’s crew laying a redundant electrical cable between St. Thomas and St. John last week.

Kerite Cable Services, under contract from V.I. Water and Power Authority, started laying submarine cable on Friday, June 24, from Red Hook, St. Thomas, to Frank Bay, St. John.

The installation of 18,000 feet of 34kV cable began at 8 a.m. and was completed within 24 hours.

The new cable is expected to greatly improve power transmission reliability to St. John in the event that the two cables now serving the island experience unforeseen or accidental failure, according to WAPA Executive Director Hugo Hodge.

The new cable will accommodate the rapidly growing electrical demand on St. John for the next 25 to 30 years and is a major step in meeting WAPA’s reserve planning criteria, Hodge explained.
The project is funded by the utility’s Series 2010 electric revenue bond issue at a cost of $4.4 million and was approved by the St. John Coastal Zone Management Committee in June.

A backhoe was used to ensure the cable from Red Hook would have enough space when it came ashore in Frank Bay, above.

Mariners were urged to move with caution from the Red Hook Point area to Frank Bay while work crews were in the area. No incidents were reported during the work time, which wrapped up on time Saturday, June 25.