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WAPA Narrows List of Potential Alternative-Fuel Providers

July 1, 2008 — Officials at the V.I. Water and Power Authority have taken a step further in reducing fuel oil costs to the Authority, whittling 14 perspective alternative-power providers down to six.
The goal is to find a company to sign a 20-year agreement to sell the territory power at a rate less than WAPA's projected costs of using traditional fuel oil.
The territory needs about 26 megawatts of energy on St. Croix and 30 megawatts of energy on St. Thomas from these alternative and renewable-energy solutions to meet its goal of replacing 40 percent of its territory-wide normal daily peak power.
Here are the finalists:
BioEnergy of Cherry Hill, N.J., wants to implement a power plant that would burn 360 tons of garbage daily. Instead of fuel oil from HOVENSA, the Virgin Islands would burn unsorted municipal solid waste, agricultural wastes, wood wastes, construction and demolition wastes, and sludge wastes. The burned material drives turbines which create electricity and an ash byproduct that the company claims is an excellent fertilizer or valuable additive for concrete production. The company says it would create as much as 12 megawatts of energy this way.
It also claims to be negotiating similar systems in the countries of Cambodia, Ghana, Guinea, Jamaica, Liberia, Mexico, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Vietnam. To learn more about the company, visit bioenergy21.net.
St. Croix Renaissance Group has three plans to use its 1,200-acre industrial property to generate cheaper electricity in the territory. One plan calls for building a pulverized-coal plant on St. Croix that could generate 44 megawatts, and a second plan is to build a waste-to-energy plant that would produce 3.3 megawatts while burning 230 tons of trash daily. The waste-to-energy plan would be in conjunction with NOVA Energy, based in Ft. Collins, Colo.
A third plan calls for construction of solar and wind-power plants in conjunction with Boston-based BlueWave Capital. The project would generate 7.2 megawatts — 3 megawatts from solar and 4.2 megawatts from wind. BlueWave can be found at bluewavestrategies.com.
The St. Croix Renaissance Group was formed in 2002 to revitalize St. Croix and its economy by welcoming new environmentally responsible industries to the island. Other ideas to meet this goal on Renaissance's land include building an air-separation facility, a brick and ceramic product production facility, a bulk construction materials handling center, a cement distribution terminal, a new commercial fishing port, a cruise ship service port, and a fresh water collection, storage and distribution system. Learn more about Renaissance Group at http://www.stxrenaissance.com.
Another Caribbean-based company, West Indies Power Holdings of Charlestown, Nevis, wants to generate 130 megawatts by harnessing geothermal power from deep within the earth. The company would dig wells — some as much as two miles deep — and generate power from the naturally occurring steam rising out, which would spin a turbine that drives a generator. The company's website — westindiespower.com — says it's building a power plant in Nevis with an estimated power output of 50 megawatts, and a power plant in Saba with an estimated output of 75 megawatts.
Englewood, Colo.-based Alpine Energy Group wants to use a waste-to-energy system that would turn garbage into 13.5 megawatts of electricity. The biomass-gasification technology converts biomass into synthesis gas for use as a natural-gas substitute and as a liquid fuel. Read more about the company at alpineenergygroup.com.
Baltimore, Md.-based Sea Solar Power International wants to use the Caribbean's sun and sea to create energy in something called ocean thermal-energy conversion. Electricity is generated from the solar energy absorbed and stored in the tropical oceans.
A large floating vessel similar to an ocean drilling rig houses the power cycle, where warm, 80-degree surface water is pumped through heat exchangers to boil a working fluid into vapor under pressure at 67 degrees. The vapor then expands through vapor turbines that drive generators. Cold, 40-degree water is pumped up from 4,000 feet below the surface to condense the vapor back into its liquid state. The cold liquid working fluid returns to the evaporators, where the liquid gets heated and boiled all over again.
The process has been studied since 1962, but — like many alternative-energy ideas — it has yet to catch on. Find out more about the idea at seasolarpower.com.
WAPA will likely make a decision on which company to choose in the next five months.
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.

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July 1, 2008 -- Officials at the V.I. Water and Power Authority have taken a step further in reducing fuel oil costs to the Authority, whittling 14 perspective alternative-power providers down to six.
The goal is to find a company to sign a 20-year agreement to sell the territory power at a rate less than WAPA's projected costs of using traditional fuel oil.
The territory needs about 26 megawatts of energy on St. Croix and 30 megawatts of energy on St. Thomas from these alternative and renewable-energy solutions to meet its goal of replacing 40 percent of its territory-wide normal daily peak power.
Here are the finalists:
BioEnergy of Cherry Hill, N.J., wants to implement a power plant that would burn 360 tons of garbage daily. Instead of fuel oil from HOVENSA, the Virgin Islands would burn unsorted municipal solid waste, agricultural wastes, wood wastes, construction and demolition wastes, and sludge wastes. The burned material drives turbines which create electricity and an ash byproduct that the company claims is an excellent fertilizer or valuable additive for concrete production. The company says it would create as much as 12 megawatts of energy this way.
It also claims to be negotiating similar systems in the countries of Cambodia, Ghana, Guinea, Jamaica, Liberia, Mexico, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Vietnam. To learn more about the company, visit bioenergy21.net.
St. Croix Renaissance Group has three plans to use its 1,200-acre industrial property to generate cheaper electricity in the territory. One plan calls for building a pulverized-coal plant on St. Croix that could generate 44 megawatts, and a second plan is to build a waste-to-energy plant that would produce 3.3 megawatts while burning 230 tons of trash daily. The waste-to-energy plan would be in conjunction with NOVA Energy, based in Ft. Collins, Colo.
A third plan calls for construction of solar and wind-power plants in conjunction with Boston-based BlueWave Capital. The project would generate 7.2 megawatts -- 3 megawatts from solar and 4.2 megawatts from wind. BlueWave can be found at bluewavestrategies.com.
The St. Croix Renaissance Group was formed in 2002 to revitalize St. Croix and its economy by welcoming new environmentally responsible industries to the island. Other ideas to meet this goal on Renaissance's land include building an air-separation facility, a brick and ceramic product production facility, a bulk construction materials handling center, a cement distribution terminal, a new commercial fishing port, a cruise ship service port, and a fresh water collection, storage and distribution system. Learn more about Renaissance Group at http://www.stxrenaissance.com.
Another Caribbean-based company, West Indies Power Holdings of Charlestown, Nevis, wants to generate 130 megawatts by harnessing geothermal power from deep within the earth. The company would dig wells -- some as much as two miles deep -- and generate power from the naturally occurring steam rising out, which would spin a turbine that drives a generator. The company's website -- westindiespower.com -- says it's building a power plant in Nevis with an estimated power output of 50 megawatts, and a power plant in Saba with an estimated output of 75 megawatts.
Englewood, Colo.-based Alpine Energy Group wants to use a waste-to-energy system that would turn garbage into 13.5 megawatts of electricity. The biomass-gasification technology converts biomass into synthesis gas for use as a natural-gas substitute and as a liquid fuel. Read more about the company at alpineenergygroup.com.
Baltimore, Md.-based Sea Solar Power International wants to use the Caribbean's sun and sea to create energy in something called ocean thermal-energy conversion. Electricity is generated from the solar energy absorbed and stored in the tropical oceans.
A large floating vessel similar to an ocean drilling rig houses the power cycle, where warm, 80-degree surface water is pumped through heat exchangers to boil a working fluid into vapor under pressure at 67 degrees. The vapor then expands through vapor turbines that drive generators. Cold, 40-degree water is pumped up from 4,000 feet below the surface to condense the vapor back into its liquid state. The cold liquid working fluid returns to the evaporators, where the liquid gets heated and boiled all over again.
The process has been studied since 1962, but -- like many alternative-energy ideas -- it has yet to catch on. Find out more about the idea at seasolarpower.com.
WAPA will likely make a decision on which company to choose in the next five months.
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.