WAPA: Rolling blackouts are over on St. Thomas

Font size: [A] [A] [A]

ST. THOMAS - Three days of rolling blackouts caused by two broken generators have ended on St. Thomas, V.I. Water and Power Authority officials said Wednesday.

While a rotation schedule was released Tuesday night to be used Wednesday, it was not needed and there were no blackouts, WAPA Executive Director Hugo Hodge Jr. said Wednesday night.

The power to the island went down Sunday when Unit 23 was down for preparations ahead of the conversion to propane, and WAPA lost Unit 14 and Unit 18.

As Unit 18 was taken down for maintenance, the utility's standby generator, Unit 14, was supposed to take its place.

However, Unit 14's starting diesel engine failed and the generator would not start.

When plant personnel tried to put Unit 18 back into service, it also would not start.

WAPA had a replacement part for Unit 14 and that unit was repaired and back in service Monday night.

The part for Unit 18's control system had to be flown in Tuesday, but it arrived later than expected, Hodge said.

Crews worked through the night Tuesday on the repairs, and while a rotation schedule was released for Wednesday, it was not used, he said.

WAPA has Unit 25, a temporary generator that it leases to cover situations such as this, but that unit already was covering the load of Unit 23.

"Unit 25 is meant to be an additional resource, but that doesn't help when you have three units down," Hodge said.

Hodge said the utility tried to use the VI Alert system to inform the public about the rotation schedules, but something went wrong and many people did not get the messages.

"We're trying to figure that part out," he said.

Unit 23 is scheduled to be back online next week, at which point Unit 14 will go back to being on stand-by.

Hodge said Unit 15 will be the next generator to come down for conversion to propane.

- Contact Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email alewin@dailynews.vi.

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.

Best of the VI

Best of the VI: After more than 100,000 text and Facebook votes were cast, it is time to unveil the winners.

Daily News E-Edition

Try our e-newspaper delivered to you every day

Island Trader

Good stuff, best buys, great fun

Crucian Trader

Celebrating St. Croix History, Culture and People

Island Action

Your complete guide to where to go and what to do this week in the Virgin Islands.