Nov. 10, 2004 Despite the gloomy weather, the St. Croix Renaissance Group might have seen Wednesday as a bright day as the Public Services Commission voted to certify the company as a small power-producer.
PSC Hearing Examiner Rosalie Simmonds-Ballentine, giving her recommendations to the commission, said the Renaissance Group should be certified as a small power-producer and co-generator because "It meets the standards for qualification."
The company, which had applied for certification July 19 and amended its application on July 21, is no stranger to the territory.
The Renaissance Group first came on the scene in 2002 when it submitted a bid to provide an interim solution to St. Croix's solid waste disposal problem when the Anguilla Landfill was scheduled to close at the end of that year. However, the company was not chosen.
The company also purchased the 1,244-acre site belonging to the St. Croix Alumina Plant that year.
The PSC voted 6-1 to approve Simmonds-Ballentine's recommendation. Chairman Valencio Jackson, Jerris Browne, Yvette Canegeta-Jones, Desmond Maynard, Alric Simmonds and Alecia Wells voted in the affirmative. Verne David abstained.
With the PSC's certification, Renaissance Group may be a step closer to selling power to the V.I. Water and Power Authority.
"One of the qualifications of winning the war is being certified by the commission," Jack Thomas, partner in the Renaissance Group, said.
The Renaissance Group, which is an Economic Development Commission beneficiary, uses coal to generate its electricity. Thomas said the plant could produce 60-80 megawatts of power. The group hopes to provide the power to WAPA.
Recently, the Legislature approved legislation mandating WAPA to negotiate and enter into a power-purchase agreement with any small power producer or co-generator on St. Croix. The co-generator had to have been certified by the Public Services Commission and committed to investing $150 million on St. Croix within a four-year period. (See "WAPA Head, Legislators Discuss Amendment").
Thomas said Wednesday the Renaissance Group has already invested the amount of money requested by purchasing the St. Croix Alumina Plant property. Caribe Waste Technologies and Caribbean Energy Resources have already been certified as possible power-producers for WAPA.
"Getting certification was just the first step," Thomas said.
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