4101 Estate Mars Hill
Frederiksted, VI, 00840
St. Thomas Office
4605 Tutu Mall, Suite 231l
USVI EDIN Project Officially Ends
Efforts to Reach 60 % fossil fuel reduction by 2025 continue
The Energy Development in Island Nations (EDIN) initiative, which kicked off in the Virgin Islands in February 2010, is officially over. Karl Knight, Director of the Energy Office, announced at the 7th EDIN-USVI Clean Energy conference on St. Thomas on Dec. 12, the project, the product of an agreement signed by the U.S. Department of Interior, Gov. John P. de Jongh, Jr., and the U.S. Department of Energy, is transitioning to a local campaign falling under the theme of ViEnergize.
Knight recapped the progress the Virgin Islands has made towards the goals of the EDIN partnership. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) developed the USVI Energy Roadmap to suggest pathways to achieving Governor de Jongh’s goal of reducing fossil fuel consumption for electricity production 60 percent by the year 2025. He told the audience, that in the first three years of the EDIN partnership; the Water and Power Authority (WAPA) reduced oil consumption by over 11 percent. Knight presented an overview of the progress made in solar, wind, biomass, and energy efficiency deployment.
The conference was co-hosted by WAPA and Hugo Hodge, Executive Director of WAPA, who provided the opening remarks and answered questions throughout the day. WAPA staff gave presentations on automated metering initiatives, the savings realized from the conversion to reverse osmosis, and utility-scale solar projects in development.
Jennifer DeCesaro, Special Advisor to the Secretary of Energy, provided remarks on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy. Basil Ottley, Virgin Islands Field Officer, represented the U.S. Department of the Interior
Patricia Lord, Grants Program Coordinator at the Energy Office, spoke about the wind anemometer loan program in the Virgin Islands. Tim Brown, of Islands Wind Energy, described the 100 KWs wind turbine recently installed at Lorraine Village Apartments. Adam Warren, from NREL, provided the results of the measurements taken to determine if utility-scale wind development has potential in the territory. Tania Tomyn, of Tibbar Energy, spoke about the biomass energy project her company has under development to produce 7 MWs of power for WAPA. May Cornwall and Jim Grum, of the Waste Management Authority talked about energy-from-waste projects.
Several people spoke about energy efficiency projects. Doug Tischbein, of Energy Systems Group, talked about the savings realized through energy efficiency retrofits at the public schools and where further potential opportunities lie. Richard Elliot, of Vitol, provided information on the project to switch WAPA’s fuel supply to propane. Wayne Archibald talked about initiatives of the University of Virgin Islands’ Caribbean Green Technology Center. David McGeown, of McGeown & Associates, gave an update on the Water and Power Authority’s ViEnergize Energy Services business unit.
Virgin Islands Energy Future
Technical Assessments Inform Path Forward for EDIN-USVI Project
Working groups in the U.S. Virgin Islands have made considerable progress on the strategic planning required meet the USVI’s goal of reducing fossil fuel–based energy use in 60 percent by 2025. Eighteen months since the USVI signed an MOU with the international partnership for Energy Development in Island Nations (EDIN) to initiate the U.S. territory’s participation in EDIN’s pilot project, they are deep into the planning and assessment phases of the three-part community energy planning process. Much of their work over the past year has been dedicated to completing technical assessments needed to establish a viable path forward.
Several key analyses have been completed, and the resulting reports explore the opportunities, barriers and decisions that must be made if the territory is to achieve its audacious clean energy goals.
Renewable Energy Integration Reports—Sources of renewable energy, such as wind and solar, differ from conventional energy sources in that they are intermittent, which means they are not under the control of the utility. Significant planning is required to ensure that the intermittent nature of the power they produce does not compromise the reliability of the electrical system. One potential solution to address this challenge is a proposed interconnection of the USVI and surrounding islands’ electrical grids in the future.
Two reports, a renewable energy integration report published by NREL and an interisland transmission report published by Siemens PTI, were completed over the summer. The reports examine the feasibility of integrating renewable energy technologies into the USVI transmission and distribution systems, including:
- The economics of deploying utility-scale renewable energy technologies on St. Thomas and St. Croix.
- Potential sites for installing roof- and ground-mount solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and wind turbines
- The impact of renewable generation on the electrical subtransmission and distribution infrastructure
- The economic and technical viability of a 100- to 200-megawatt power interconnection of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority and British Virgin Islands grids via a submarine cable system.
USVI Energy Road Map—The road map explores the technical, policy and economic challenges to reducing the amount of fossil fuel used to generate electricity and water for the territory. The road map is presented in two NREL publications, an overview brochure and a detailed technical analysis.
2025 Transportation Plan—Using the USVI Department of Public Works’ 2030 USVI Transportation Master Plan as a foundation, the Transportation working group conducted analyses that informed its updated report, published by NREL.
Waste-to-Energy Evaluations—Unlike wind and solar, WTE systems provide sources of renewable energy that are “dispatchable”—that is, under the control of the utility. Of course, pollution controls are important if this source of renewable energy is to be used. Two reports, one published by NREL and one published by RTI, explore the state of the art in WTE and WTE emissions and the implications for the USVI.
All seven reports are available for downloading at edinenergy.org/usvi.html:
- Integrating Renewable Energy into the Transmission and Distribution System of the U.S. Virgin Islands, NREL, September 2011.
- Interconnection Feasibility Study – Final Report, Siemens PTI, July 2011
- U.S. Virgin Islands Energy Road Map Analysis: 60% Reduction in Fossil Fuel by 2025, NREL, September 2011
- U.S. Virgin Islands Transportation Petroleum Reduction Plan, NREL, September 2011
- U.S. Virgin Islands Waste to Energy Project, RTI, July 2011
- USVI Energy Road Map: Charting the Course to a Clean Energy Future, NREL, July 2011
- Waste-to-Energy Evaluation: U.S. Virgin Islands, NREL, September 2011
Governor discusses territory's renewable energy leadership at Energy Conference, community-wide investments needed to reach 60% fossil fuel reduction goal by 2025
Gov.John P. de Jongh, Jr. told federal officials and energy industry experts on Wednesday that sustainable energy production was the future for the Caribbean, and the Virgin Islands would continue to adopt strategies ensuring clean energy leadership.
The governor said the administration has made investments demonstrating its commitment to reduce energy costs, increase the territory's electrical system's stability and protect the natural environment. He also called on the greater community to participate in the territory’s energy consumption reduction goal and outlined a plan to help the Virgin Islands achieve its 60% goal by 2025, through a diversified energy portfolio.
“Developing and broadly implementing new, sustainable energy sources may be the most pressing global challenge of the 21st century. There is no nation or region in the world that is not concerned about this issue. But for island nations and territories, energy independence is even more urgent, and a sustainable solution even more vital to long-term economic health and prosperity,” de Jongh said.
The governor spoke before officials from the U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Department of Energy, local business leaders, service providers and other government officials. He said high energy costs are an oppressive burden on the territory's still-fragile economy, and the territory is at a disadvantage because it is not connected to a larger electrical grid.
Virgin Inslands road map to a future of clean energy
EDIN-USVI has produced a brochure that provides an overview of the clean-energy deployment process and progress of the Energy Development in Island Nations U.S. Virgin Islands pilot project road map, including over-arching goals, organization, strategy, technology-specific goals and accomplishments, challenges, solutions, and upcoming milestones. It can be found here.