05/24/2010 US Virgin Islands to Receive $9M for Energy Efficiency Initiatives
Official Blog Post
May 22, 2010
Energy and Environment
Governor deJongh recently executed four Memoranda of Agreement to utilize over $9 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 or ARRA funding for energy efficiency initiatives in the government.
In announcing the Memoranda of Agreement:
“The execution of the agreements between the Virgin Islands Energy Office and the Department of Public Works, Water and Power Authority, Port Authority and Waste Management Authority are part of our overall strategy to reduce energy use. They are also part of our efforts to improve our approach to managing government affairs by achieving energy efficiency in government buildings and facilities, consistency and management of our street lighting, and implementing a gas-treatment system at one of our landfills. The availability and access to ARRA funding has enabled us to be creative and to implement programs that will have a direct impact on government costs and our approach to energy conservation.”
The Department of Public Works will install traffic signal LED bulbs, LED street light bulbs, solar lights in bus shelters, and solar lights on the Christiansted Boardwalk. These projects will cost $964,955 and save the Virgin Islands government about 820,060kWhs per year. LED or light emitting diodes use half the power that compact fluorescent bulbs utilize and have twice the lifecycle.
The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority will purchase and install a street light management system and replace high-pressure sodium street light fixtures with LED fixtures. This project will utilize $2.5 million of ARRA funds. It is estimated that this project will save WAPA 700,000 kWhs per year.
The Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority will install a landfill, gas-to-energy, gas-treatment system at the Bovoni Landfill on St. Thomas at an estimated cost of about $3 million. The work will include the installation of generating equipment to use the landfill gas to produce electricity at the Bovoni Landfill. The gas for the generators will be collected with a gas collection system already in progress prior to the grant award. This project is estimated to produce 1.5 million kWhs per year.
In the fourth project, the Virgin Islands Port Authority will receive $2.9 million to purchase and install a 335 kW PV solar system at the Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas. This is expected to produce 485,925 kWhs per year for Port Authority use. At the current electric rate this will save the Port Authority $170,073 annually.
Overall, the savings anticipated from these projects will be about $2.1 million per year. “This is a significant milestone in our efforts to achieve the objectives of our comprehensive energy strategy. These government agencies are leading by example as we begin to reduce energy costs and promote clean energy use,” said Bevan R. Smith, Jr., Director of the Energy Office.
Smith said it is also the office’s objective to increase efficiency of energy use and production and increase fuel diversity and reliability, therefore, by this summer the central government and large commercial ratepayers will benefit from a long-term, self-sustaining energy demand reduction plan to decrease electricity and water consumption by 46 million kWh and 230 million gallons by 2013. This plan is expected to reduce utility costs in the Virgin Islands at current prices by almost $20 million annually beginning in 2013.
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