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New Electrical Substation Expected to Reduce Widespread Outages

Oct. 12, 2007 — After two years of planning and hard work, V.I. Water and Power Authority officials Friday unveiled one of the larger projects included in their five-year capital improvement plan: a brand new substation intended to improve electrical service in the St. Thomas-St. John district.
Called the Long Bay substation, the facility will complement upgrades WAPA is making to its other bases throughout the territory and the installation of a new steam heat-recovery boiler on St. Croix. With the five-year plan in action, the authority can begin reducing its dependence on expensive fossil fuel, and ultimately reduce the high cost of residents' utility bills, said Nellon Bowry, the authority's interim executive director.
During Friday's ceremony, Bowry explained that WAPA officials saw the need to build the new substation after larger developments such as the Yacht Haven Grande project and Frenchman's Cove came online. The existing Rahelio Hatchett substation could not have shouldered the anticipated increase to WAPA's electrical load, Bowry said, and had to be replaced by another facility.
"The completion of this substation will not only vastly improve the reliability of WAPA's service, but it will put us in a better position to support economic activity in the territory," he explained. "Additionally, when a fault occurs in the system, we will be better able to detect the affected areas. The chances are less now that a single incident — like a truck crashing into one of the poles — will take an entire island out of service. We won't be able to eliminate all outages, but we can limit their impact and duration."
Championed by former WAPA Director Alberto Bruno-Vega, the Long Bay project took about 18 months to complete, officials said. It was coordinated, in large part, by authority engineers and other employees. Because of WAPA's ability to keep most of the work in-house, the project was completed on time and according to budget, Bowry said.
The $6.5-million project was financed in large part by the $57.5-million bond issuance WAPA closed on in July, which will also go toward covering the cost of the heat-recovery boiler and repairs within the authority's other facilities. Another $2 million was a contribution from Yacht Haven Grande, while the remaining $500,000 came from the utility's coffers.
The WAPA team showed pride in its work Friday, with individuals from the management team and young engineers such as Allyson Gregory — who also served as mistress of ceremonies during the event — applauded by members of the authority's governing board.
"We want to tell Mr. Bowry and other members of the WAPA family how very proud the governing board members are of each and every one of you," said Cheryl Boynes-Jackson, the board's chairwoman. The development of the five-year plan, coupled with execution of two key projects, is taking the authority closer to its oft-repeated goal: having satisfied customers, she said.
The large crowd of community members and government officials gathered for the ceremony also lit up with applause when Clinton Hedrington Jr., WAPA systems planning manager and lead man on the layout and design phase of the project, stepped up to the podium to deliver a few brief remarks.
"Today we have proven that through teamwork all things are possible," Hedrington said, to loud cheers from the audience.
Hedrington's brief remarks paved the way for the next part of the event — a ribbon cutting that symbolized the substation's coming online to the WAPA power grid. In reality, the facility has been up and running since last Saturday, WAPA spokeswoman Cassandra Dunn said afterwards.
The substation, which is able to shoulder up to 60 megawatts of electricity, channels power produced at the Randolph Harley plant in Sub Base and distributes it to other parts of the district. Circuits that lead straight to Yacht Haven and Schneider Regional Medical Center are also housed at the substation, along with two new underground feeders.
The substation is also configured to relay information about power outages or other faults in the system to WAPA employees, explained Fred Thompson, the project's coordinator.
"If something happens, we'll be able to know where, when and how," Thompson said. "It's pretty neat. We envisioned a project, gave our input during all the stages, and here we are. We've reached our goal."
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Oct. 12, 2007 -- After two years of planning and hard work, V.I. Water and Power Authority officials Friday unveiled one of the larger projects included in their five-year capital improvement plan: a brand new substation intended to improve electrical service in the St. Thomas-St. John district.
Called the Long Bay substation, the facility will complement upgrades WAPA is making to its other bases throughout the territory and the installation of a new steam heat-recovery boiler on St. Croix. With the five-year plan in action, the authority can begin reducing its dependence on expensive fossil fuel, and ultimately reduce the high cost of residents' utility bills, said Nellon Bowry, the authority's interim executive director.
During Friday's ceremony, Bowry explained that WAPA officials saw the need to build the new substation after larger developments such as the Yacht Haven Grande project and Frenchman's Cove came online. The existing Rahelio Hatchett substation could not have shouldered the anticipated increase to WAPA's electrical load, Bowry said, and had to be replaced by another facility.
"The completion of this substation will not only vastly improve the reliability of WAPA's service, but it will put us in a better position to support economic activity in the territory," he explained. "Additionally, when a fault occurs in the system, we will be better able to detect the affected areas. The chances are less now that a single incident -- like a truck crashing into one of the poles -- will take an entire island out of service. We won't be able to eliminate all outages, but we can limit their impact and duration."
Championed by former WAPA Director Alberto Bruno-Vega, the Long Bay project took about 18 months to complete, officials said. It was coordinated, in large part, by authority engineers and other employees. Because of WAPA's ability to keep most of the work in-house, the project was completed on time and according to budget, Bowry said.
The $6.5-million project was financed in large part by the $57.5-million bond issuance WAPA closed on in July, which will also go toward covering the cost of the heat-recovery boiler and repairs within the authority's other facilities. Another $2 million was a contribution from Yacht Haven Grande, while the remaining $500,000 came from the utility's coffers.
The WAPA team showed pride in its work Friday, with individuals from the management team and young engineers such as Allyson Gregory -- who also served as mistress of ceremonies during the event -- applauded by members of the authority's governing board.
"We want to tell Mr. Bowry and other members of the WAPA family how very proud the governing board members are of each and every one of you," said Cheryl Boynes-Jackson, the board's chairwoman. The development of the five-year plan, coupled with execution of two key projects, is taking the authority closer to its oft-repeated goal: having satisfied customers, she said.
The large crowd of community members and government officials gathered for the ceremony also lit up with applause when Clinton Hedrington Jr., WAPA systems planning manager and lead man on the layout and design phase of the project, stepped up to the podium to deliver a few brief remarks.
"Today we have proven that through teamwork all things are possible," Hedrington said, to loud cheers from the audience.
Hedrington's brief remarks paved the way for the next part of the event -- a ribbon cutting that symbolized the substation's coming online to the WAPA power grid. In reality, the facility has been up and running since last Saturday, WAPA spokeswoman Cassandra Dunn said afterwards.
The substation, which is able to shoulder up to 60 megawatts of electricity, channels power produced at the Randolph Harley plant in Sub Base and distributes it to other parts of the district. Circuits that lead straight to Yacht Haven and Schneider Regional Medical Center are also housed at the substation, along with two new underground feeders.
The substation is also configured to relay information about power outages or other faults in the system to WAPA employees, explained Fred Thompson, the project's coordinator.
"If something happens, we'll be able to know where, when and how," Thompson said. "It's pretty neat. We envisioned a project, gave our input during all the stages, and here we are. We've reached our goal."
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.