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Lucy
 Lucy
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December 15, 2011 4:36 pm  

This video was prepared earlier this year by BELCO, the utility company in Bermuda. They face the very same constraints as the USVI. Good discussion on renewable energy (advantages / limitations). And by the way as you will see, they currently have a MSW burning plant running; similar to the proposed Alpine Energy plant on STX.


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Lucy
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December 16, 2011 2:58 pm  

After I saw this on Bermuda, I wanted to see what the other islands are doing. As it turns out, WEB in Aruba is following Bermuda's lead ... or maybe it is the other way around. They have added 30 MWe of wind, but have added new diesel engines that are as much as 45% efficient. And yes for the near term they are sticking with fuel oil.

The USVI needs to quit thinking that renewables are the magic bullet. They have their small place but it is not realistic for overall 24/7 operations. Fuel Oil is the fuel for the near term future (there really is no other) for large 24/7 operations on isolated islands.

And to this end, WAPA has done some things right. They have converted a simple-cycle GT on STX to combined-cycle; improving efficiency. They have given Alpine a contract for the new RDF power plant and this will provide 24/7 operations. But with all this emphasis on renewables and the fact that they have ZERO money, they are abandoning the strategy / need to modernize their current equipment (improve efficiency). It might be too late when the units go down and it is just too costly to repair them. Let the rolling black-outs increase. The USVI gov.t needs to sell WAPA or partner with a utility (or large developer) to bring money to the table to upgrade current operations. LEAC should come down, but it will never go away.


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Ca. Dreamers
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December 16, 2011 3:40 pm  

After I saw this on Bermuda, I wanted to see what the other islands are doing. As it turns out, WEB in Aruba is following Bermuda's lead ... or maybe it is the other way around. They have added 30 MWe of wind, but have added new diesel engines that are as much as 45% efficient. And yes for the near term they are sticking with fuel oil.

The USVI needs to quit thinking that renewables are the magic bullet. They have their small place but it is not realistic for overall 24/7 operations. Fuel Oil is the fuel for the near term future (there really is no other) for large 24/7 operations on isolated islands.

And to this end, WAPA has done some things right. They have converted a simple-cycle GT on STX to combined-cycle; improving efficiency. They have given Alpine a contract for the new RDF power plant and this will provide 24/7 operations. But with all this emphasis on renewables and the fact that they have ZERO money, they are abandoning the strategy / need to modernize their current equipment (improve efficiency). It might be too late when the units go down and it is just too costly to repair them. Let the rolling black-outs increase. The USVI gov.t needs to sell WAPA or partner with a utility (or large developer) to bring money to the table to upgrade current operations. LEAC should come down, but it will never go away.

Spot on!!!!


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billd
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December 17, 2011 3:21 am  

Wind is a key to our problem. Other countries (and islands) have done great things. But WAPA puts up the front that they support wind but have done NOTHING. If we were to put a dozen windmills outside of sub base in STTwe cound generate more power and become less dependant to oil.

To another issue has anyone hear of Val enzia (like the orange?). They make a super hign effiency generator and will own it and then charge the customer a rate for power. I heard that the ritz will put in their generators and get power for about 24C a KW. Not sure that this is true but it shows the amount of pressure that cpmpanies are uinder to get out from 50C a KW. I know nothing of the company and it is just a beach rumor but I am going to speak to one of the managers next week and get the facts. I will let you know.


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saucey
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December 17, 2011 3:59 am  

Lucy, what are your feelings in regards to either mini-nuclear or Bloombox technology?

I like your style & studying, so I would like to hear your opinion on the above options.

My biggest fear with Alpine is that they will turn the keys over to VIWMA, and we all can see how they handle waste now...scary...


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Lucy
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December 17, 2011 12:49 pm  

Yikes !!! I'm feeling a little embarrassed. I forgot my roots as I cut my teeth on nuclear 30 some years ago. Most in the VI people don't
realize it but there are small nuc plants around us every now and then .... they are called US Navy Submarines.

A small plant (see below) would supply all the energy needs and people could use all electric cars. The plants drive a steam turbine generator and run 24 / 7. These would eliminate LEAC forever. And at this size plant my guess is that we would be paying less than 20 cents per kWh.

www.westinghousenuclear.com/smr/fact_sheet.pdf


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busht
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December 17, 2011 1:36 pm  

So glad to see 'mini nukes' brought up. It seems like they make so much sense in isolated places like here. I think Popular Science had an article on them not too long ago, and if people learn how safe and secure they are being made now, it could be feasible to get a lot of support going. The only thing I don't know about is cost. Anyone? If interested, look up thorium, too - a much safer source of energy than uranium. Happy holidays, and let's keep dreaming of a better future.


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Lucy
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December 17, 2011 3:41 pm  

Here you go BillD.

http://valenciaenergy.com/index-28.htm

Their web site has no info, but I believe it is based on this I think. More energy out than energy in ???

http://www.zotloeterer.com

I was over at the Ritz in May. Spoke with the facilities ME and he was going to look into VE. When he did, he told me he wasn't sure, but the deal was "too good to pass up". VE puts in the unit and charges the Ritz around 20 cents per kWh. And if the system is down, then VE pays the difference when the Ritz gets the electric from WAPA. Typically what happens to the end user of a deal that is too good to pass up?

I'm very skeptical about this. If it was the winner that it is supposed to be, then this technology would be fast-tracked and you would see them popping up everywhere. And if this was the magic bullet, don't you think Siemens or GE would be into it ??? We will see.

Note, initially the Ritz was going to put in their own diesel generators. Maybe to reduce cost but mainly to improve reliability. WAPA blackouts really give their computer systems fits.

busht --> Currently a large nuclear plant like a Westinghouse AP-1000 ( 1,000 MWe or 1,000,000 kWe ) goes in for about $2,000.00 per kWe of capacity. That's $2B. I would guess the Small Modular Reactor might be $3,000.00 per kWe of capacity. The 200 MWe plant would cost about $600,000,000.00. But no more LEAC.

The SMR would run 24/7 or 8760 hours per year and generate 1,752,000,000 kWh per year. At 20 cents per kWh that would be $350M. And a simple payback of less than 2 years.

So it is really. Pay me now (LEAC) or find a larger developer with $$$. Maybe Bill Gates would want to help us? The VI really needs to look far into the future NOW.


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Lucy
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December 17, 2011 4:44 pm  

Here is the Bloom Energy solution.

http://www.bloomenergy.com/products/data-sheet/

Unfortunately the fuel cells use NG or biogas (methane).

Also, BillD mentioned wind. It can help but it would not solve the entire problem. Since the wind does not blow all the time (or blows too hard), then the utility needs to have sufficient backup capacity that can run 24/7. Last year I was out sailing ... but it wasn't really sailing when we were under power for 2 days because of no wind.


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Lucy
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December 18, 2011 6:23 pm  

Here is a small floating nuclear plant system that is currently being deployed. 2 units at 35 MWe each is perfect for the VI. And the excess heat can be used to drive a low heat multi-effect humidification desalination system. This design is used on ice breakers and aircraft carriers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_floating_nuclear_power_station


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OldTart
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December 18, 2011 9:14 pm  

Before the nuclear issue gets re-hashed, this thread is from just two months ago and contains a wealth of pertinent information:

ttp://www.vimovingcenter.com/talk/read.php?4,165503,167634#msg-167634


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swans
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December 18, 2011 10:23 pm  

Great idea - but I know I will regret throwing my two-cents in, although I have some questions.....or concerns.

The Russian Floating Nuclear Power Plant Barge may show promise as an alternative in supplying power to certain areas, but towing one of these - or two of them - to the USVI just will not happen, I'm sure.

First: I'm curious to know how the Akademik Lomonosov is performing at Vilyuchinsk in Northeast Russia. How will the first refueling go, let alone having to tow it back home for overhauling in about ten more years. Is another nuclear power plant barge used to replace the one that will be overhauled? A swap perhaps? They will have to build extras!

Where could these barges be placed in the USVI to supply power? Megan;s Bay in St. Thomas? Perhaps Bolongo Bay...Perhaps also at Christiansted Harbor or Fredriksted Pier in St. Croix? The cruise ship industry would be thrilled to announce to passengers on board that "that thing over there is a nuclear power plant, folks! Don't worry none though, it's safe" 😀 Ah...Perhaps one could be parked at Hovensa. Regardless, St. Thomas and St. Croix would need one floating nuclear power plant each: The distance between the islands warrants it.

What impact could this barge have on the delicate ecosystem of the area? The Caribbean isn't quite like Northeast Russia OR the Russian Arctic where five barges are destined to reside in the near future.

Now, let's look at our Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Here we go again! They will be more thrilled than the cruise ship Captains at the presence of Russian built and Russian operated and Russian refueled and Russian overhauled Floating Nuclear Power Plants on American Caribbean Island coasts. How do they regulate the Russian operation? And we all know how much the NRC wants to regulate things! And - OMG...what about the "evacuation plan" for the VI and those islands nearby??? 😮

I am pro-nuclear. But this idea just will never come to fruition anywhere on US soil. Consequently, we will continue to be held hostage by the resources we must currently live with today .
Swan


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Lucy
 Lucy
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December 19, 2011 1:13 am  

Swans. Yep. A russky-built plant will most likely be a No-Go. Mainly due to the politics as there is really no impact to the environment and much less than any fuel oil emission pollutants. I only throw out options and this one is cost effective but not PC. So if the VI is absolutely chained to being PC, then get used to the LEAC and find the best alternative to improve efficiency. These new MAN and Wartsilla diesel engines are 45% efficient. And a cost effective waste heat recovery system off the hot stack gas using thermal oil and ORC can increase that to about 50%.

The real point in all this is that the VI people are convinced that solar and wind are the way out. And it gives WAPA an easy excuse to delay the hard decisions of longterm planning to improve their spinning assets.


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Lovelylady
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December 19, 2011 1:52 am  

I use to live in Bermuda, pretty interesting for a small little islands, but never the less I think they are far ahead of St. Croix as far as R&D.


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billd
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December 19, 2011 2:10 am  

I own several condos in a compex on STT and we are looking at VE. It is not the solution that I would prefer but WAPA is out of control. We are talking about 24C a KW, about 50% of the WAPA rate with no major complex investment. I favor a more centralized approach such as a mini nuke or a large combination of wind and improved generating capability. My son works for Westinghouse and they are working on a small nuke system that will do a small city of about 200,000 people. It will be a modular system that is built in a factory and will tie into the grid just like a grid tie system you might install at your home.

But back to reality.

WAPA will never ever do anything to cut the rates. They have positioned themselves in a non-competitive world where they have no reason to come up with a better solution. Wind mills, small nukes, VE are all great ideas but never will see the time of day.

So each company or condo association will do what ever it can to get off the WAPA grid. I am putting 6K on my house because I am forced to do something. Wait until oil gets to be 200/barrel. WAPA's rate will be 1.00 a KW. Of course the whole island will come to a stand still then. There will be no one who will be able to afford to stay in business. At 50C it is almost impossible now. There is nothing that will get WAPA to do anything.

The energy department here is a joke. They are just yes men. The government has no clue. So it is up to the individual.

I will let you all know the details of our VE situation. Perhaps it may help you go your own way.


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Lucy
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December 19, 2011 2:59 pm  

Here is a current status on small modular reactor designs. The Russian plant is the only one close to deployment. See Table E.1 (about page 15). I will try to find out the status of the Westinghouse SMR.

http://www.oecd-nea.org/ndd/reports/2011/current-status-small-reactors.pdf


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Jamison
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December 20, 2011 12:28 pm  

I've only lived here for about a week now, but I'm shocked at the lack of alt energy sources. So many little things could be done, from installing solar panels on the light posts, to leds or even smarter placement of lights. It would seem like the trash company would want to get that recycling plant moving along and then capture gases to create energy, but from what I can tell, the greed is pretty short sighted here. There is a ton of room for improvement. Even with the food. It seems like every place I go wants to do interesting local foods, but every customer just wants fried fish and a burger. Food is a huge energy waste. Even with the water problems here, why isn't there more grey water systems? I come from Philly and they just got voted the greenest school system in the country and I guess I was taking some things for granted.


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