81.7 F
Charlotte Amalie
Friday, June 21, 2024
HomeSource PicksLoss of Fuel Pressure Determined to Be Cause of Electrical Interruption

Loss of Fuel Pressure Determined to Be Cause of Electrical Interruption


Randolph Harley Power Plant (file photo)

A preliminary review of data from four of the Water and Power Authority’s generating units points to a loss of or significant drop in fuel pressure at the time of an electrical service interruption in the St. Thomas-St. John District early Thursday morning.

“Personnel have reviewed data files from Unit 15 as well as three Wartsila generators and have noted a significant fuel pressure drop, which tripped the units and resulted in the major power outage,” said Noel Hodge, interim executive director. Customers on St. Thomas, St. John, Water Island and Hassel Island were affected.

Hodge said management and operations teams at the Randolph Harley Power Plant are working through the issues that led to the fuel pressure drop.

“We want to fully understand the circumstances that contributed to the pressure loss and, more importantly, how a reoccurrence can be avoided.”

He said the dispatched propane-powered units were operating normally and the pressure loss “essentially fuel-starved the units leading to their tripping offline. It was a sudden loss of all generation.”

Prior to today’s outage, which occurred at approximately 3 a.m., the plant had not experienced a districtwide outage since Jan. 11.

Approximately 30 minutes after all customers were restored, at about 5:40 a.m., two of the three dispatched generators tripped, resulting in an outage to customers on six feeders across the St. Thomas-St. John District. After resolving operational issues with the tripped units, plant personnel rebuilt generation capacity and restored service to all customers at approximately 7:55 a.m.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.