The V.I. Water and Power Authority will introduce payment kiosks at its customer service centers and at other island locations in 2017, making it easier and faster for customers to take care of their power bills without standing in long lines, WAPA announced.
The kiosks were one of the measures highlighted in a year-end news release summing up WAPA’s achievements in 2016 and plans for the new year.
The statement by WAPA Chief Executive Officer Julio Rhymer noted that the year began with the utility on the final leg of its liquefied propane gas conversion project.
"This project, by far the largest in WAPA’s recent history, allows our generators to burn the cleaner and lower cost propane fuel to generate electricity," Rhymer said.
St. Croix has been powered by LPG since October and, as the year draws to a close, about two-thirds of the power demand in the St. Thomas-St. John district is being provided by propane. The district will be fully powered by LPG once the largest generator undergoes a maintenance overhaul and fuel conversion in 2017.
The authority is also purchasing six new generating units for the Randolph Harley Power Plant on St. Thomas, Rhymer said, with an option to acquire an additional six. These units, the first of which are expected by December 2017, will result in far greater reliability and increased efficiency in power generation.
Rhymer said the authority is also continuing an "aggressive build out" of the automated metering infrastructure to smart meters for residential and business customers. The units will empower customers to better manage the electricity they use, he said.
"With the support of the governing board and the hard working men and women of WAPA, I am confident that our efforts will continue to evolve the authority into a premier public utility in the Caribbean," Rhymer said.