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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, July 18, 2024


The first segment of a major project placing essential electrical lines underground to protect them from natural disasters has been completed by the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority.
WAPA officials said Wednesday that recovery from hurricanes and the like will be quicker now that the power plant in Krum Bay is linked by underground cables to the Cyril E. King Airport. Every user along the way is expected to benefit from the project, undertaken with assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
"The Sara Hill line was one of the most difficult to maintain and restore following hurricanes," WAPA Executive Director Raymond George said. Now, after a hurricane has passed WAPA will only have to close a switch on an underground control panel device to restore electricity to the airport and to all businesses in-between including three hotels, a restaurant and the administrative offices of the V.I. Port Authority.
WAPA is also placing feeders underground to Juan F. Luis Hospital and Henry E. Rohlsen Airport in St. Croix and the Roy L. Schneider Hospital in St. Thomas. George said those are the key areas WAPA aims to restore first in the aftermath of a hurricane or windstorm. The underground projects are scheduled to be completed this year.
"The completion of these underground projects will also shorten future hurricane recoveries by allowing the restoration of power to underground feeders and then 'back feeding' to other areas," George said.
In outlining other key projects the authority has embarked on, George said one of the biggest priorities is to complete installation of a new 24-megawatt generator, undergrounding distribution lines to the Tutu electrical substation and the completion of the submarine water distribution line to St. John. In St. Croix, key projects include developing an electrical substation, and the extension of underground feeds to Frederiksted.

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