The V.I. Water and Power Authority extended its rotating power interruptions Monday on St. Thomas and St. John after a lack of adequate generating capacity caused a three-hour island-wide blackout, the utility announced.
The Randolph Harley Power Plant on St. Thomas continued to be challenged to meet an increasing demand for electrical service, WAPA said, causing the rotating interruptions, which began Friday night, to be extended into Monday evening.
As of 5 p.m. Monday the service interruption affected a portion of Feeders 7A, 7B, 9E and 8B. Affected areas included Solberg, Four Corners, St. Peter Mountain Road, Estate Thomas, Peterborg and a portion of Cruz Bay, St. John. The affected portions of 7A, 7B and 8B were expected to be restored momentarily, at which time a portion of Feeders 10A and 7C were expected to be interrupted.
In the meantime, plant personnel continue to make repairs to a transformer component associated with Unit 23. WAPA anticipated that Unit 23, the district’s largest generator, will be brought on line Monday evening ending the need for continued rotating service interruptions.
As of Monday afternoon Units 14, 15 and 25 were on line.
Earlier on Monday, the St. Thomas/ St. John district experienced a three-hour island-wide service interruption when the faulty transformer of Unit 23 caused the generator to trip off line. The trip of Unit 23 also caused Units 25 and 15 to fall off line, leading to a complete loss of generation capacity at the power plant.
Service was fully restored with Units 14, 15 and 25, but the combined power output of the units does not provide enough capacity to meet peak power demand, WAPA said in its news release, making rotating service interruptions necessary during periods of heavy demand.