October 9, 2019
WAPA REPORTS STEADY PROGRESS IN RECONSTRUCTION OF
ST. THOMAS EAST END ELECTRICAL SUBSTATION
The reconstruction of a new electrical substation on St. Thomas’ east end is progressing with contractors having poured a concrete roof last week. The substation was damaged in the 2017 hurricanes, and when completed early next year, will restore normal electric grid operations to the eastern end of St. Thomas, and to the island of St. John.
An electrical substation is part of the transmission and distribution system. These facilities transform voltage from high to low, or the reverse. A substation may include transformers to change voltage level between high transmission voltages and lower distribution voltages, or at the interconnection of two different transmission voltages. WAPA operates seven such substation facilities territory-wide.
“Without the substation in Estate Nazareth, the electrical transmission system to St. John is being provided by the Tutu substation, and by the Donald Francois substation in Long Bay. Distribution feeders, which provide residential electrical service, are being provided by other substations,” said Lawrence J. Kupfer, Executive Director / CEO.
Using FEMA funding, WAPA is replacing the damaged facility with a poured concrete structure to protect the facility from future storm damage. In addition, a control and protection room will also be built to allow for safe operations by engineers and technicians. “This project will increase reliability and prevent further switchgear failures at the East End substation. The complete loss of the facility two years ago has placed an increased strain on the power system,” Kupfer added.
Upon completion of this project, the East End Substation will provide service to the island of St. John, and to St. Thomas’ east end including critical community facilities such as the V.I. National Guard Armory, Montessori School, Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, Food town Supermarket, Port Authority Red Hook facilities, American Yacht Harbor, Ritz Carlton Resort, Bovoni Landfill, Bovoni Commercial Center, Bureau of Internal Revenue headquarters, DPNR Division of Fish & Wildlife, National Park, Homeland Security, and VIPD facilities.
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The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority is an autonomous agency of the Virgin Islands Government which produces and distributes electricity and drinking water to residential and commercial customers in the territory. WAPA was created by the Fifth Legislature of the Virgin Islands in 1964 through Act No. 1248. Today, WAPA generates electrical power at production plants on St. Thomas and St. Croix, and distributes electrical service through smart grids to customers on St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John, Hassel Island, and Water Island. Potable water is distributed to almost 13,000 customers through water lines and standpipes. WAPA also has the responsibility of installing and maintaining street lights.
EAST END ELECTRICAL SUBSTATION SITE – JUNE 2019
EAST END ELECTRICAL SUBSTATION SITE – OCTOBER 2019