GOVERNMENT & POLICE NEWS

This Week’s Senate Calendar

Here’s what’s on tap at the V.I. Legislature this week.

Video Galleries

Audio Galleries

Police Commissioner Rodney F. Querrard Sr. discusses the Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, homicide of Keithroy Caines at Oswald Harris Housing Court.

 
Currently:Click for Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands Forecast

Source Picks

Is Chikungunya Another Sign of Climate Change in the V.I.?

Don Buchanan asks us to observe the environmental patterns we see around us and ask ourselves if they connect to what scientists are predicting about Climate Change.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE
2014-10-20 15:56:51
VING Deploying 24 Soldiers to Afghanistan for Law and Order Mission

The Virgin Islands National Guard (VING) will deploy a detachment of military police next week. Yellow Ribbon Farewell Ceremonies are scheduled for the 661st Military Police Detachment on Oct. 18 on St. Thomas and on Oct. 20 on St. Croix.
The community is invited to attend.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE
2014-10-17 05:20:03
Smalls Hopes New Ferries to Run by October’s End

Paperwork held up putting the Cruz Bay I and the Red Hook I ferries into permanent service, Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls said, but he’s hopeful they’ll be under way by the end of October.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE
2014-10-17 00:28:41
Local news — St. Thomas
CommentLog in or Register to CommentE-mailE-MAILPrintPRINT
Ritz Gives Up on WAPA, Goes With Own Power

Frequent power outages and fluctuations have convinced the Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas to switch to full-time diesel generator power from using the V.I. Water and Power Authority’s supply, manager Marc Langevin said. Essentially, the hotel will have its own power plant.

“The main reason is the quality of service,” Langevin said.

At the Ritz, service equals happy customers. Frequent WAPA power interruptions means that air conditioning and other electricity-dependent amenities don’t work when the guests want them, and power fluctuations cost the resort money because they have to replace equipment more frequently than they should.

He said that, for example, on March 13, the hotel had a four-minute outage that cost the hotel $60,000 in lost equipment. And the next morning he had to deal with guests who were annoyed that their air conditioning went off during the night.

When this will happen is up in the air, Langevin said, because the hotel still has to get its permit from the Planning and Natural Resources Department.

Advertising (skip)

The Ritz plans to install a primary generator and a backup generator. Langevin said the hotel will invest about $2 million to $3 million in the generators. He said the operating costs will be a bit lower than what WAPA charges, but the cost wasn’t the primary concern since he wanted reliable power for his guests and to save on repair costs to equipment.

The hotel now spends $3 million a year for energy, which Langevin said was bound to go up as the cost of oil rises.

The generators will be enclosed, he said.

He said he’s looking into “greener” solutions to the problem, such as waste-to-energy, but said that first he needs to stabilize the resort’s power supply.

EPA’s St. Thomas-based coordinator Jim Casey said that the Ritz needs to get a Title 5 permit from the Planning and Natural Resources Department to operate, which means it has to meet federal Clean Air Act requirements that include emission standards.

“It is very stringent,” he said.

Planning spokesman Jamal Nielsen said the application has a discrepancy in the specifications for the generators, which Planning staff is investigating. Once that matter is cleared up and the rest of the application is reviewed, the application will move forward.

St. Thomas resident Judy Grybowski attended a meeting called by the Ritz on Feb. 28 to explain the generator situation to its neighbors. She said that while she has issues with the noisy generators run at the adjacent time shares, she said they are not owned by the Ritz hotel but by the owners of the time shares.

She said she has no issues with the Ritz’s plan to use generators for its power.

“The dollar is talking here. Why would the Ritz spend that kind of money on something that could fail?” she said.

Louanne Schechter, office manager at Cowpet Bay West condominiums said she doesn’t have an issue with the generators because WAPA just can’t provide enough power to the Ritz.
 

Read more stories in Local news»»

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Ritz-Carlton ST.Thomas, can no longer wait until the continued outages desist. Years ago,WAPA was ill-prepared for the rising cost of oil $100 a barrel was a wakeup call. We are in the future and the Ritz-Carlton can no longer afford to make excuses for their guests when the power goes out and shuts down the air conditioners. So, we are now in the future so where is the proverbial back-up plan. Hint: GO GREEN OR SOLAR....Solar power is excellent for such a hot place year round.... Just imagine every apartment, home or business that has those solar panels now, the billion dollar question is that would offset the cost/usage/reliance of oil and those aging generators would not break down so much. WAPA is an aging dinosaur heading for extinction. I hope that other businesses take a stand and build their own power plants and save their business from decay.

WAPA stands for Without Adequate Power A-Moh.... Where the Water, Lights, and Electricity gone me son?......