Why, in the Virgin Islands Nation, do we continue to embrace old technology? As many states cancel plans for coal fired power plants in favor of wind turbines, like the investment of oilman T. Boone Pickens and his Mesa Power as seen on TV and You-Tube, many insist that the technology that most U.S. power plants switched over to some 20 years ago is good for us, today. Never minding the fact that the fuel needed (coal) will have to be imported and is subject to the same availability and price issues as oil.
Petcoke, the low cost by product of the oil refinery that is available for use locally as a fuel, bears a large carbon footprint and requires new equipment and the need for serious emissions cleaning but it is here, meaning that being held to the whims of off island suppliers is eliminated and we can do business locally.
Also, while watching a ball game on our local Foxnetwork affiliate, i was pleased to see an ad for Verizons FIOS, which is fiber optic cable brought directly in to the home that provides very high speed access to communications that much of the world already enjoys.
Once again, our company continues to use old copper line with no plans to make current technology available to us while they use fiber optics to connect their own facilities, as does WAPA. (an interesting side note is that most underground power cables now have a fiber optic cable attached)
Perhaps it was a management decision by the Prosser led forces that the public would not know any better or the belief that company employees were not up to the task that has, up to this point, held us back. Yes, this new technology is costly but we are charged for it, and yes, the employees will need added training but that brings job security.
The investment in old compared to new continues to not make sense if we, the Virgin Islands Nation, are to be able to compete in attracting more new business. High tech companies can provide clean jobs and help to improve our middle class of labor. These new high speed data companies come without large carbon footprints but do use a lot of electricity.
The thought should be of new, hungry customers for WAPA that will help to offset the prices paid by local customers. The same can be said of the new, planned resort developments. In addition to fueling our economy with jobs, more power will be needed and just maybe these new customers will help to defray the increasing cost of power to you and me while the time is hopefully well spent building the new power alternatives needed for a future of low cost electricity.
The connections should be easy to see. The future is now.
Together, we can petition our government, our power company and our phone company in order to make them aware of our knowledge and our desire to be able to compete with the rest of the world instead of continuing to be the child, left behind.
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