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WAPA Maintenance Fund Will Cover Exploded Transformer Replacement

Aug. 10, 2007 — V.I. Water and Power Authority officials will dip into the utility's coffers to come up with $1.5 million to replace a transformer that exploded last month at the Randolph Harley power plant on St. Thomas.
The July 17 explosion injured four WAPA interns and knocked out power in areas across St. Thomas and St. John. (See “Explosion at Power Plant Injures Interns, Causes Widespread Outage.”)
The use of the funds, which will come from a $7.5 million pool of money designed for preventative-maintenance projects, was authorized by the authority's governing board during an emergency meeting Thursday. The funds will cover the purchase and installation of two used transformers supplied by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), according to a recent WAPA news release.
Though WAPA has already ordered two new transformers, the equipment will not be up and running for at least another 12 months, officials said at a recent board meeting. In the meantime, Public Services Commission officials have asked the authority to come up with a temporary solution to the problem, since the downed transformer has continued to provide power to the St. Thomas-St. John district via a backup unit.
During a meeting last month, board members authorized WAPA officials to petition the PSC for the use of $1.5 million from the commission's self-insurance reserve fund, a pool of money reserved for the utility's use during emergencies such as hurricanes and other natural disasters. (See "WAPA’s Chronic Money Problems at a Head, Officials Say.")
However, no action has been taken yet on WAPA's petition, forcing the authority to turn to its own internally generated revenues.
The used transformers will come from PREPA's Monticello and Mayaguez power plants at a cost of $40,000. The unit intended to replace WAPA's damaged transformer is expected to be shipped by next Friday, and should be installed by the end of the month, the release says.
The second transformer will be used as a backup unit, helping to maintain the system's reliability and decreasing the chance of power outages.
The $1.5 million will also cover a payment to SEIMENS for the dismantling of the transformers in Puerto Rico, along with a $500,000 estimated cost associated with packing, shipping and installing the equipment at the Harley plant.
Another $45,675 will go to Southern Power Resources for the testing and installation of protective devices, along with interconnecting the first unit with the second transformer. The cost of transformer oil is estimated at $25,000.
The remaining funds will pay for the transportation and installation of the second transformer, along with the cost of removing the damaged units from the St. Thomas power plant.
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Aug. 10, 2007 -- V.I. Water and Power Authority officials will dip into the utility's coffers to come up with $1.5 million to replace a transformer that exploded last month at the Randolph Harley power plant on St. Thomas.
The July 17 explosion injured four WAPA interns and knocked out power in areas across St. Thomas and St. John. (See “Explosion at Power Plant Injures Interns, Causes Widespread Outage.”)
The use of the funds, which will come from a $7.5 million pool of money designed for preventative-maintenance projects, was authorized by the authority's governing board during an emergency meeting Thursday. The funds will cover the purchase and installation of two used transformers supplied by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), according to a recent WAPA news release.
Though WAPA has already ordered two new transformers, the equipment will not be up and running for at least another 12 months, officials said at a recent board meeting. In the meantime, Public Services Commission officials have asked the authority to come up with a temporary solution to the problem, since the downed transformer has continued to provide power to the St. Thomas-St. John district via a backup unit.
During a meeting last month, board members authorized WAPA officials to petition the PSC for the use of $1.5 million from the commission's self-insurance reserve fund, a pool of money reserved for the utility's use during emergencies such as hurricanes and other natural disasters. (See "WAPA’s Chronic Money Problems at a Head, Officials Say.")
However, no action has been taken yet on WAPA's petition, forcing the authority to turn to its own internally generated revenues.
The used transformers will come from PREPA's Monticello and Mayaguez power plants at a cost of $40,000. The unit intended to replace WAPA's damaged transformer is expected to be shipped by next Friday, and should be installed by the end of the month, the release says.
The second transformer will be used as a backup unit, helping to maintain the system's reliability and decreasing the chance of power outages.
The $1.5 million will also cover a payment to SEIMENS for the dismantling of the transformers in Puerto Rico, along with a $500,000 estimated cost associated with packing, shipping and installing the equipment at the Harley plant.
Another $45,675 will go to Southern Power Resources for the testing and installation of protective devices, along with interconnecting the first unit with the second transformer. The cost of transformer oil is estimated at $25,000.
The remaining funds will pay for the transportation and installation of the second transformer, along with the cost of removing the damaged units from the St. Thomas power plant.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.