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USVI’s government signs contract to develop first alternative energy plant

Governor John deJongh said Monday the US Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) has signed two 20-year Power Purchase Agreements and the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority (WMA) has signed two 20-year Solid Waste Management Services Agreements with affiliates of Denver-based Alpine Energy Group LLC (Alpine) to build, own and operate two alternative energy facilities to serve the residents of St Croix, St John and St Thomas.


The alternative energy facilities, to be built on St Croix and St Thomas, with a projected cost of $440 million, will convert an estimated 146,000 tons per year of municipal solid waste into refuse-derived fuel (RDF) using WastAway Services® technology, which will combine with petroleum coke as fuel to generate steam and electric power.


“These plants will begin moving WAPA away from complete dependency on fossil fuel for electric power generation and water production and it will be the first time in US Virgin Islands history that fossil fuel has not been used to generate electricity and potable water.


“It is also the first time that the government has developed a viable solution to the landfill and solid waste issues in the Virgin Islands,” deJongh said, noting, “Using this combination to address solid waste management and energy needs is a step we hope will further inspire the other Caribbean nations which have experienced similar challenges to consider alternative and renewable energy fuel sources to make energy more affordable for their utility customers.”


The governor noted that when he came into office in 2007, his Administration faced significant challenges as it relates to the cost of electricity and the management of solid waste. “Today, we have taken a definitive step in the right direction in terms of addressing the cost of electricity to our residents and the concerns that have been raised since the 1970’s about the state of our landfills which has been the subject of both consent orders and fines by the Environmental Protection Agency.”


WAPA Executive Director Hugo Hodge, Jr said that in 2007, the utility issued a Request for Proposals to renewable energy providers in 2007 to develop a practical and environmentally friendly solution to rising fuel prices in the Virgin Islands. “After reviewing 14 proposals, we selected Alpine as our first alternative energy solution because it not only provides a supply of lower-cost electricity, but also helps to satisfy the Virgin Islands’ solid waste issues.”


The power purchase agreement will now be forwarded to the Public Services Commission for review.


Source: Caribbean Net News

Category/ies:Regional News.
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