WAPA Says No Effect on Electrical Service from Removal of 3 Generators at Harley Power Plant

Randolph Harley Power Plant on St. Thomas

The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) acknowledges receipt of correspondence from APR Energy that, as a result of a dispute over APR’s obligations under its contract with WAPA, the Texas-based company will suspend service to WAPA on Wednesday afternoon. WAPA leases three electrical generators from APR Energy at the Randolph Harley Power Plant on St. Thomas.

Executive Director Lawrence J. Kupfer sought to reassure residents of St. Thomas and St. John that the actions by APR Energy will have no effect on WAPA’s ability to provide continuous electrical service. “We are in position to utilize our propane-fired generators for the bulk of electrical capacity required, and we have both Units 14 and 23, which are owned by the Authority, available to close the gap left by APR’s suspension of service.”

Kupfer also pointed out that while WAPA has outstanding payments due APR Energy, the company is responsible for failing to have two of its units, 26 and 27, operating on LPG. The contract for two of the three units requires their primary power source to be LPG and APR Energy simply failed to make that a reality. Having no other recourse and needing the units, WAPA accepted the APR-owned generators at a reduced lease rate.

Additionally, Kupfer said that Unit 26 in particular has a history of operational challenges which has made it unreliable, and that unit has not been used since November 2019. “Since WAPA stopped using Unit 26, the reliability of the power plant has significantly improved.”

He again reassured residents that, notwithstanding APR’s decision to demobilize its generating units, WAPA has the capacity to provide continuous electrical service to all residents in the St. Thomas-St. John District.