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HomeNewsLocal newsWAPA Plans Rolling Blackouts Through Weekend, Citing Low Fuel Supply, Weather

WAPA Plans Rolling Blackouts Through Weekend, Citing Low Fuel Supply, Weather

V.I. Water and Power Authority customers can expect rolling blackouts through the weekend as the utility contends with a low fuel supply and a northerly swell that is producing strong east and northeast winds, WAPA announced Thursday evening.

The outages are necessary to prevent widespread disruptions and to ensure continuous service to the most vulnerable communities, it said.

“We understand the inconvenience these outages may cause, but they are essential to prevent larger disruptions across the district and ensure more feeders are with electrical service throughout the weekend,” said Ashley Bryan, chief operation officer.

“We’re working to find a balance between minimizing brief outages that affect a smaller number of customers and the potential for a larger-scale outage across the district. We appreciate the cooperation and understanding of our customers during this time,” she said.

The Source reached out to WAPA communications personnel on Friday morning regarding the cause of the low fuel supply but has yet to receive a response. Historically, chronic cash shortages have prevented the utility from being able to keep an extra supply of fuel on hand. High seas, as the region is currently experiencing, also make fuel deliveries difficult.

In the St. Thomas/St. John district, the inclement weather and low fuel inventory pose a threat of a district-wide outage, according to the press release. Therefore, rotational outages will be implemented starting late Friday or early Saturday and will continue through Sunday to maintain electrical service in the most vulnerable areas, it said.

On St. Croix, several generation units are scheduled to go offline starting on Saturday, resulting in reduced generation capacity at the Estate Richmond Power Plant. As a result, rotational outages will be in effect indefinitely during peak hours. Peak hours are generally between noon and 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., WAPA said.

“We urge all residents and businesses to conserve energy as much as possible to support the stability of the electrical grid and keep more feeders operational,” the press release stated. “The authority is actively working to resolve these issues and minimize disruptions to our valued customers. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your cooperation and understanding.”

For updates and more information, visit www.viwapa.vi, social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, or call 340-773-2250 and press 6 on St. Thomas/St. John and 340-774-3552 and press 6 on St. Croix.

“The Authority understands the frustration and inconvenience that these outages will cause our customers, and sincerely appreciates the patience and understanding demonstrated by the community during this challenging period,” the press release stated.

For the fastest information and updates, ensure you are subscribed to WAPA alerts or sign up at: https://www.viwapa.vi/news-information/advisory-details or customers can download the Everbridge App and select “Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority”.

The scheduled rotation outage is as follows for the St. Thomas/St. John district, tentatively beginning late Friday or early Saturday morning through late Sunday, depending on marine weather conditions:

Rotation (midnight-2 a.m.):
Outage: 7E, 7A, and 8A

Rotation (2 a.m.-4 a.m.):
Outage: 6B, 7B, and 8B

Rotation (4 a.m.-6 a.m.):
Outage: 7C and 9C

Rotation (6 a.m.-8 a.m.):
Outage: 6A, 9E, 10B, Mall, YH2, and 8E

Rotation (8 a.m.-10 a.m.):
Outage: 7E, 7A, and 8A

Rotation (10 a.m.-noon):
Outage: 6B, Masa Switch, and 8B

Rotation (noon-2 p.m.):
Outage: Cassi Hill Switch and Nadir Switch

Rotation (2.p.m.-4 p.m.):
Outage: 6A, 9E, Mall, YH2, 8E, and WICO or Port of Sale Switch

Rotation (4 p.m.-6 p.m.):
Outage: 7E, 7A, and 8A

Rotation (6 p.m.-8 p.m.):
Outage: 6B, 7B, and 8B

Rotation (8 p.m.-10 p.m.):
Outage: 7C and 9C

Rotation (10 p.m.-midnight):
Outage: 6A, 9E, 10B, Mall, YH2, and 8E

For feeder listings, visit: https://www.viwapa.vi/customer-service/feeder-listing.

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