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Saturday, May 18, 2024


July 28, 2001 – The Water and Power Authority's new gas turbine unit No. 22 will provide an additional 25 megawatts of electrical power to St. Thomas when it goes online in mid-August.
Joseph Thomas, WAPA executive director, said the unit will "provide the additional capacity … to enable us to take some units out that are sorely in need of repair, and … enable us to meet our reserve requirements, which is to be able to meet peak demand with our two largest units out of service."
Warren Coker, construction manager for Besco Inc., the general contractor overseeing assembly of the unit, said similar units have been installed around the world including several in Africa and 16 in China. Coker explained that the heart of the unit is a Pratt and Whitney jet engine, similar to theose that power intermediate-size airliners, which provides the hot gases to spin the turbine blades. The blades then spin the generator element of the new unit.
Mark Knopf of Pro-Mar Services directed the placement of the new unit's exhaust stack Wednesday. One major piece remains to be connected before the new generator can be started for testing, which should begin in early August, according to Coker.
Besco, based in Jacksonville, Fla., has used subcontractors from St. Thomas, St. Croix and Puerto Rico, including Pro Mar Services Inc., which provided the crane that placed the exhaust stack.

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