WAPA Unit Failure Plunges St. Thomas into Darkness

The V.I. Water and Power Authority experienced a service interruption across St. Thomas just after 7 p.m. Sunday when its largest generating unit, Unit 23, tripped off line.

Unit 23’s failure sidelined two other generators that were on line at the time, Units 18 and 25, creating a domino effect which resulted in the tripping of all feeders which provide electric service throughout the island, the authority announced in a news release Sunday night.

Crews from WAPA’s Line Department inspected the electrical distribution system in and around the Estate Altona area of Feeder 7A following reports from residents of bright flashes seen in the area near the Western Cemetery and Mahogany Estate, while plant personnel worked to confirm that a surge entered the plant through the distribution system resulting in the failure of Unit 23.

In the hours following the generators tripping off line, plant personnel have worked to restart at least three units: 15, 18 and 25, whose combined capacity will provide the power needed to restore the island’s electrical service, according to WAPA.

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WAPA personnel expected to try to start Unit 23 late Sunday or early Monday. 

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