The Water and Power Authority’s largest generating unit, Unit 23, was restored to service at 4:24 p.m. Monday, allowing WAPA to fully restore electrical power to all feeders and isolated areas an hour later.
"The restoration of Unit 23 capped about five hours of rotating service interruptions in the St. Thomas-St. John district made necessary by the power plant not having enough generation capacity to service the power demand," said WAPA Executive Director Julio A. Rhymer, Sr.
Rhymer added that Units 14, 15 and 25 were on-line throughout the day. But the combined output of the three units, plus up to 3.9 megawatts of power generated by the solar farm in Estate Donoe, fell short of the required capacity to sustain the demand of the island district.
A fourth generating unit, Unit 18, is not available as it is undergoing maintenance to address a transformer issue that surfaced on Sunday morning.
It was the second day in a row of power difficulties. On Sunday evening, problems developed with Unit 23’s battery chargers, which took the unit off line for slightly less than four hours. Full power was restored around 9 p.m. On Monday, plant personnel were in the process of switching fuel pumps on Unit 23 to facilitate repairs to a fuel leak when the motor on the standby pump malfunctioned and tripped the generating unit again.