The Water and Power Authority will use HUD Community Development Block Grants to acquire as many as seven new generators for the Randolph Harley Power Plant on St. Thomas, WAPA and Office of the Governor announced Friday.
That purchase will come in addition to a solar micro-grid project for St. Croix and the wind-energy project planned for St. Thomas, previously announced.
Requests for Proposals for these new generators will be issued before the end of 2018 and the new units are expected to be commissioned within a year. The new generators will reduce fuel consumption by at least 30 percent when compared to the older, inefficient generating units now being used to power the St. Thomas – St. John district. These new generators will reduce fuel, leasing and maintenance costs, and will substantially improve reliability, according to the news release from WAPA.
The St. Croix solar micro-grid project will contribute to lower costs and enable the west end of St. Croix to have power during short duration service interruptions at the Estate Richmond Power Plant.
The acquisition of the new generating units represents an approximate $65 million investment in modernizing power generation on St. Thomas, according to WAPA officials.
“Both the authority and the Office of the Governor will continue to work with federal partners to identify additional renewable and generation projects for St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas in an effort to drive down the cost of electricity and improve reliability and resiliency,” WAPA Executive Director and CEO Lawrence. J. Kupfer said.