Due to the large number of high quality bids, the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority has postponed the short list announcement date of qualified bidders that responded to the’ request for proposal’ from Independent Power Producers for Solar Photovoltaic Generation. Originally, the short list was scheduled to be announced on Oct. 25, but has been changed to Nov. 18. All bidders have been notified, in writing, of the new date.
According to WAPA Executive Director Hugo V. Hodge Jr., the additional time is needed to fully evaluate the 27 proposals the authority received by the Sept. 27 deadline. The evaluation committee, which is comprised of WAPA technical personnel, Energy Development in Island Nations (EDIN) representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy as well as other technical and legal experts, is reviewing the submissions. The criteria include cost effective product pricing; experience; strength of plans for development, construction, operation and maintenance of facilities utilizing commercially proven technology; and financial strength.
The authority is seeking photovoltaic generation to assist in lowering the cost of power production in the territory and diversify its generation by adding renewables to the grid. The utility will sign a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for the procurement of solar energy from one or more selected respondents, with an option to renew for another five years. The selected respondents will be responsible for constructing, operating and maintaining all facets of the project. WAPA is seeking a maximum of 10 megawatts (MW) of electrical capacity, allocating approximately five MW to each of its two generation facilities serving the St. Thomas-St. John and St. Croix districts. A guaranteed commercial operation date has been set for December 2013.
WAPA will update the public as the selection process continues.