Renewable Energy Now...Not Later!
The time is now to speak up about renewable energy. WAPA is about to sign a 20-25 year contract for its power needs. Some of the items on the list are BAD for the territory. Dirty Coal and Pet Coke and cables to puerto Rico are not the answer. The time is now for us to make speak up about our energy futures. Talk to everyone and send mails to WAPA letting the know that Fossil Fuels are not the answer for the USVI.
VIREO or Virgin Island Renewable Energy Organization is a relatively new alliance of many different groups of people, businesses and organizations trying to get on the path to renewable energy and not dirty fossil fuels. We dont want to be locked into a 25 year deal to burn coal, and trust me you dont want to be anywhere near a coal plant. We need to use the sun, wind and water.
Vote for those that push renewable energy for our territory! The time is now, not later!
We should get T. Boone Pickens in on this!
I just read an article and I don't remember the publication, however, the jist was that T. Boone Pickins is sooooo interested in switching to Natural Gas because he now owns the rights to many natural gas areas (or what ever they are called). Sorry...not too specific but the article was great. I'll try to find it again and post the source. I'm guessing because we don't have a way for him to make $$$ he won't care at all about the USVI! Just another billionaire trying to make more $$ but make it seem like he is looking out for all of us!
There was an amazing article in the NY Times Sunday Magazine yesterday about a successful battle to allow the construction of a 200-megawatt wind farm 12 miles off the coast of Delaware.
Long article, but very realistic overview of big-energy politics intersecting with citizen engagement and hard financial realities.
Usually the steam electric plant conversion is to get away from oil. Oil fired units are converted to NG.
Most plants in the USA are still coal fired and are under going capacity and emissions upgrades.
Thats good to know but I was talking about the power generation plants in the USVI, not state side plants.
Besides, there is no natural gas to be had on the islands, It would have to be imported vis ship.
The only way that would work out is if the ship can haul more energy in the form of NG versus coal.
Coal was imported to the islands up to 2005 (330k tons) and went to zero tons in 2006. Making me think the power plants converted from coal fired to oil fired. Not NG fired since WAPA owes Hovensa $24 million in fuel purchases and I do not think Hovensa does NG.
WAPA is still all on oil. That's why out of the normal electric residential rate of say about 45 cents per kWh, the LEAC (oil surcharge) is about 35 cents per kWh.
Here is a comparison of fuels FYI. Note the price of fuel oil on the chart. I believe WAPA was paying more than that.
One often over looked fuel is waste wood / biomass. This includes clippings and forest waste (much of which is on the ground in the national park on STJ). Also, sewage sludge (dried cake at less that 30% moisture content) can be mixed 50 / 50 with other biomass to make thermal and electrical energy.
From the chart, wood waste / biomass can be shipped a great distance and not catch up with the cost of using oil.
What I am trying to say is .........why on earth did WAPA convert from coal to oil in around 2005 and now it appears to be ready to spend millions again to convert back to coal?
I found this "Power Supply Evaluation Report" at the WAPA site. It just came out Aug. 28, 2008.
Very interesting read about what is current and what is being looked at for the future.