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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, July 19, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsSTT-STJ Power Rotations to Continue as WAPA Works on Damaged Feeder

STT-STJ Power Rotations to Continue as WAPA Works on Damaged Feeder

Rotation schedule for the St. Thomas/St. John district on Monday, which is subject to change. (Graphic courtesy WAPA)
The power rotation schedule for the St. Thomas/St. John district on Monday, which is subject to change. (Graphic courtesy WAPA)

V.I. Water and Power Authority customers on the eastern side of St. Thomas and St. John who endured rotating power outages over the weekend will be enduring them a little longer, the utility said Monday as it updated the community on efforts to fix a damaged feeder that is behind the problem.

“These temporary electrical service interruptions are a result of complications that occurred when authority personnel conducted repairs over the weekend to a main transmission line feeding power from the Randolph Harley Power Plant to customers primarily on the eastern side of St. Thomas and St. John,” WAPA said in a press release issued mid-afternoon on Monday.

It came amid heavy criticism on social media from customers who went without power for hours at a time during a sweltering weekend.

WAPA said that during construction work on Saturday, a duct bank — which is a concrete or metal container used for protecting utility lines and cables — was punctured, and the electrical cable inside was damaged. That cable is a primary cable that is part of Feeder 13, which delivers power from the Randolph Harley Power Plant to the Tutu Substation.

“To better understand the reason why this is causing a widespread impact starts with understanding how WAPA’s transmission system works,” the press release stated.

WAPA’s power generation begins at the Randolph Harley Power Plant on St. Thomas. After electricity is generated, it is funneled through the RHPP substation for distribution to customers that reside on the “A” feeders and the remaining electricity is commuted over two major active transmission feeders — Feeder 12 and Feeder 13 to serve the balance of the customers in the St. Thomas/St. John District, according to the release.

Feeder 12 transports power from RHPP to the Donald C. Francois Substation, while Feeder 13 (currently damaged) is responsible for delivering power from RHPP to the Tutu Substation. These substations then distribute power to smaller secondary feeders, such as 10B and 9C, which ultimately supply electricity to homes and businesses.

“There is a third transmission line, Feeder 11 which would normally be used as an additional source of transmission to the DCF substation, however, due to damage to the substation from the storms of 2017, Feeder 11 is currently offline and cannot support distribution of power from RHPP to customers,” the release stated.

“With Feeder 13 currently out of service due to damage sustained in the field, WAPA has been forced to rely solely on Feeder 12 to support the bulk of the electrical load of the district, with the exception of distribution feeders that originate at RHPP, such as Feeder 7A. Feeder 12 does not have the capacity to meet the demands of all the remaining customers that are serviced outside of the Power Plant, resulting in the need for power rotations. This is the reason why residents are only seeing rotations for ‘B, C, and E’ Feeders, as these are the feeders that are currently being serviced by Feeder 12 while Feeder 13 is being repaired,” WAPA said.

“The dedicated team at WAPA has been working tirelessly to repair Feeder 13. Despite ongoing efforts, Feeder 13 continues to trip, indicating that there is additional damage that still needs to be identified. At present, the exact location of this damage remains unknown. Until Feeder 13 is fully repaired, the community should anticipate an ongoing power rotation schedule, as Feeder 12 cannot bear the entire load of both islands,” the release stated.

“The authority understands the frustration and inconvenience that these outages are causing our customers, and sincerely appreciates the patience and understanding demonstrated by the community during this challenging period,” the release continued.

WAPA said it will continue to provide updates regarding the progress of the repairs. For the fastest information and updates, ensure you are subscribed to WAPA alerts or sign up here. Or, customers can download the Everbridge App. Information can also be found at www.viwapa.vi and social media platforms at @USVIWAPA on Facebook and on Twitter @VIWAPA.

Following is Monday’s rotating outage schedule:

Rotation #1 (5 a.m.-7 a.m.)

Outage: 7B & 9E

Restored: 10B & 9C

Rotation #2 (7 a.m.-9 a.m.)

Outage – 7E & 7C

Restored – 9E & 7B

Rotation #3 (9 a.m.-11 a.m.)

Outage – 10B & 9C

Restored – 7E & 7C

Rotation #1 (11 a.m.-1 p.m.)

Outage: 7B & 9E

Restored: 10B & 9C

Rotation #2 (1 p.m.-3 p.m.) 

Outage – 7E & 7C

Restored – 9E & 7B

Rotation #3 (3 p.m.-5 p.m.) 

Outage – 10B & 9C

Restored – 7E & 7C

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