87.5 F
Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesSOUTHERN AGREEMENT IS CLOSE

SOUTHERN AGREEMENT IS CLOSE

There were some strong indications Wednesday that negotiations between the Turnbull administration and Southern Energy over the future of the Water and Power Authority are coming to an end.
George Gray, Southern's account representative for WAPA, told St. Thomas Rotarians that while he does not know what the outcome will be, it will come soon.
"Yesterday or today we think we may have agreement except on six or seven issues but tomorrow we will go in and may have agreement on all but 25 or 26 issues," he said, "These are complicated and complex negotiations."
Later in his presentation Gray was a bit more specific about the timetable for the talks ending.
"There are people going over some technical and legal terms now," he said. "We believe that in the next five or seven days, the governor will have a package to review and subsequently submit to the Legislature."
While few details of the talks between Southern and the government are known, both sides have indicated that an agreement would include a basic assurance that key government agencies would not have electrical service disrupted for non-payment.
"What we have said in our negotiations is that we want to protect essential services such as fire, hospitals, police," Gray said. "We have made a commitment that there will be no cutoffs (for lack of payment)."
Under questioning, Gray also indicated that there will be no full-scale burying of power cables if Southern buys a controlling interest in WAPA.
While the utility would have every intention of securing the continued flow of power, he said that putting every inch of cable underground would be cost-prohibitive.
"It is a very expensive exercise to put all cables underground," he said. "The cost would exceed the authority's value."
Long term, he said, Southern would look at burying critical lines but "I do not ever see us going 100 percent underground."
Gray said nothing would happen under Southern's ownership that would not satisfy its customers. He pointed to Southern's success in the Bahamas and Europe.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

STAY CONNECTED

20,771FansLike
4,758FollowersFollow

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more
There were some strong indications Wednesday that negotiations between the Turnbull administration and Southern Energy over the future of the Water and Power Authority are coming to an end.
George Gray, Southern's account representative for WAPA, told St. Thomas Rotarians that while he does not know what the outcome will be, it will come soon.
"Yesterday or today we think we may have agreement except on six or seven issues but tomorrow we will go in and may have agreement on all but 25 or 26 issues," he said, "These are complicated and complex negotiations."
Later in his presentation Gray was a bit more specific about the timetable for the talks ending.
"There are people going over some technical and legal terms now," he said. "We believe that in the next five or seven days, the governor will have a package to review and subsequently submit to the Legislature."
While few details of the talks between Southern and the government are known, both sides have indicated that an agreement would include a basic assurance that key government agencies would not have electrical service disrupted for non-payment.
"What we have said in our negotiations is that we want to protect essential services such as fire, hospitals, police," Gray said. "We have made a commitment that there will be no cutoffs (for lack of payment)."
Under questioning, Gray also indicated that there will be no full-scale burying of power cables if Southern buys a controlling interest in WAPA.
While the utility would have every intention of securing the continued flow of power, he said that putting every inch of cable underground would be cost-prohibitive.
"It is a very expensive exercise to put all cables underground," he said. "The cost would exceed the authority's value."
Long term, he said, Southern would look at burying critical lines but "I do not ever see us going 100 percent underground."
Gray said nothing would happen under Southern's ownership that would not satisfy its customers. He pointed to Southern's success in the Bahamas and Europe.