WAPA SITUATION CRIT...
 

WAPA SITUATION CRITICAL WE ARE GOING DARK SOON????  

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rokipatel
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August 15, 2008 11:54 am  

Wapa needs to tap into credit lines to pay week by week fuel supplies for power generation how often can Wapa do this????? without defaulting? We are definitively going Dark very very soon and is not going to be for an 1 or 2 hours it could be days. The USVI economic development is going do be severely damage. I think Wapa should be sold to Prepa from Puerto rico and let Prepa and its resources take care of the oil bill and make the necessary arrangements to bring electricity from mainland Puerto rico if not prepare for a Power crisis in the islands.


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GoodToGo
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August 15, 2008 1:22 pm  

From what I heard on the news last week it takes $3.2M/week to buy the necessary fuel and they borrowed $2M to make their next buy.

These numbers aren't good. If it really takes $3.2M/week for a place with about 100,000 people thats about $32/head each week. Granted that's not the direct cost to end users but it is the burdened rate for end-user consumption, consumption at retail and government facilities, etc..

When I think about it from this perspective it doesn't sound so bad. I think I paid about $25/head each week for our place in Seattle as an end-user and that doesn't tack on my part of operating costs I pay when I go to a retail outlet, the part consumed by government in providing me services, etc.

This then makes me wonder why it seems that utility costs are so high here? Is it because perhaps a much smaller percentage of the population actually bears the cost compared to other places? (Due to higher consumption/waste by government, disproportionate amont of public housing, etc.) I think the average user who receives a WAPA bill is paying much more than $32/head per week for their household. Could it be that an inordinate amount of cost is passed to end users? (It would explain how some stores are able to keep a chilly atmosphere and stay in business wouldn't it?) Does anybody know if businesses pay a different rate that residential customers?


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Betty
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August 15, 2008 1:40 pm  

Good to Go your dividing the 3.2 by 100,000. It seems like that would be assuming we have 100,000 residences, which we don't. No where near that.

The number would be higher the what you figured but still lower then what most are paying. But wapa is also a business and it has to pay salaries and maintain machinery and equipment and safety standards, so yes there are many costs that are passed along beside the fuel costs.

I agree its way to high but I don't ever think it will be that low.

I for one am ready (not looking forward to the chaos AT ALL) for wapa to go under and someone else to try. I'm hoping the grass is greener, because wapas got no grass left. At least I'm alreay ready for power outages with hurricane season here.


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sugarlander
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August 15, 2008 1:51 pm  

Those are some great points GoodToGo. It does seem like some don't pay their fair share. I'd add that theft of services all gets passed on to the rest of us.

There are a lot of unanswered questions. Why didn't WAPA hedge against price increase since it couldn't pass it own to consumers? Why is Hovensa just now reducing the wholesale price of fuel when oil has tumbled in the last couple of weeks? Isn't the current LEAC rate actually MORE than the current price of fuel? What is the operating cost of running your own generator compared to 44 cents a KWH from WAPA.


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Remco
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August 15, 2008 1:58 pm  

Does anybody know if businesses pay a different rate that residential customers?

Yes, commercial rate is higher than residential rate! Commercial LEAC is 0.3333 compared to 0.25 for residential.


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rokipatel
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August 15, 2008 2:20 pm  

I understand regarding which rate or not we pay but the situation lies that Wapa won't be able to buy fuel for generating power at its current business model. The USVI government needs to cover the debt with Hovensa right away either by asking the dept of Interior for emergency money or the USVI government could go itself into more debt and ask banking for money. No bank will give more credit to wapa unless the USVI government backs it 100%. After doing that they must enter seriously into negotiations with either prepa from Puerto rico or a private entity in the US for sale right away. I am telling you unless the USVI government doesn't give certainty regarding power reliability and cost there where not be investment in the islands.


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GoodToGo
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August 15, 2008 2:22 pm  

Hi Betty. I think you missed the part where I said 'per head' as opposed to per household.

Good to Go your dividing the 3.2 by 100,000. It seems like that would be assuming we have 100,000 residences, which we don't. No where near that...


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Trade
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August 15, 2008 3:54 pm  

Just as I opened this thread the power went out. :@) Love our generator.

~Trade~


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Jim Dandy
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August 15, 2008 5:38 pm  

I believe WAPA has 55,000 customers. Not sure if that includes both residential and commercial. Also the total dollars needed for a weeks supply of oil is $3.1 million for STT/STJ and $3.2 for STX. These were the numbers in the Daily News story,

Jim


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East Ender
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August 16, 2008 2:00 pm  

roki: Have you read the news archives on the Southern Energy deal several years ago? There was support from the business community but not from the legislature. Don't hold your breath for the cavalry to arrive. Aren't you glad you have that generator ?


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Exit Zero
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August 16, 2008 2:07 pm  

Is running a generator full time instead of using WAPA in any way an option cost wise?? I use mine so rarely since it seems that unless the power is out for many hours it isn't worth it unless I need to use the water pump.


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Jim Dandy
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August 16, 2008 4:23 pm  

It can be close when you figure just the cost of the fuel and oil, but when you include the depreciation on the generator it makes using a generator much more expensive. An inexpensive generator's motor is expected to last 500 hours which sounds like a long time until you do the math and calculate that if you run the generator ten hours a day you would have to replace the generator in 50 days.

If you purchase a commercial diesel generator you probably could get several thousand hours before having to overhaul it. Again do the math.

A commercial power plant has the advantage in that they can better match generated output to demand. Your standby generator, even with a variable throttle, runs either at half speed or full speed so even if you are only using several hundred watts your generator is probably putting out several thousand watts.

Jim


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East Ender
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August 16, 2008 6:39 pm  

Don't worry everyone! Help is on the way!! http://www.onepaper.com/stthomasvi/?v=d&i=&s=News:Local&p=1212901262 😉


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trw
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August 16, 2008 9:05 pm  

how much is Malone getting?


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Trade
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August 17, 2008 9:11 am  

That was my first thought.

~Trade~


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Remco
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August 17, 2008 11:33 am  

"magnetic molecular arrangement device"?
Sound like the age-old "magnet on the fuel line"-trick! (Which doesn't work, by the way)

And besides... shouldn't someone at WAPA be thinking about saving fuel costs??


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Cory
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August 17, 2008 12:39 pm  

(td)
The short term solution of burning fossil fuels more efficiently and having an outside company reap the benefits is NOT what the territory needs in my opinion.

"Our energy saving systems enable fossil fuels to release more heat when they're combusted,"

Wait a sec, they want to keep using Fossil Fuels? What about the sun, wind and ocean? What about shifting our focus away from oil and start using natural resources, and plan for the future? What if in 5-10-15 years the price of oil is $200 or $300 per barrel? How fast will the price of oil go up? At that point it doeasnt matter how efficient the oil is burned...Do the people of the USVI like to gamble? Oil has to be imported, SUn , Wind and Ocean doesnt!!! Its here already!

"Malone said the system entails "…no risk to WAPA." Gemini's Walton said his company charges nothing for the technology, but typically shares 50 percent of the realized savings." "…privately financed"

So, instead of the territory directly saving by using its own natural resources, one business wants to make $$$ and keep us on fossil fuels. :S

However, Malone stressed that some savings, even if it's no additional price increase, is needed.
"Right now, (WAPA's) not saving anything, and they have nothing to reinvest to provide fuel at a cheaper cost," Malone said. "So it's the best thing in the short term. This is the first phase, I feel, of WAPA's recovery."

Best thing in the short term for who??

Gemini has never sold MMAD to a public power plant before. Instead, it has been used exclusively in private industry. In addition, it has yet to use the product with liquid fossil fuels, as WAPA uses,

USVI = Cash Cow/Guinea Pig

Im sorry, but this plan might look and feel like relief right now in the short term, but it looks to me like its just digging the hole deeper and not solving the real problem of using fossil fuels. Down the road this will come back to bite us.

The time is now to put the best resourse we have to work. The Sun... Solar Power is the answer!


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Neil
 Neil
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August 17, 2008 1:18 pm  

I tried to Google it, and there's nothing on the internet called a "magnetic molecular arrangement" device, and gemini-energy.com is "under construction."

So I googled "flux capacitor" and found the solution to the problem.


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Lizard
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August 17, 2008 2:36 pm  

Wind, Sun, and Ocean sound great and are something to look forward to, However how long does it take to construct, harness and distribute this type of power. Who is gong to finance this (guess)! Our immediate problem is money and lack of it ,since nobody likes the wind fall profit tax on refined oil leaving STX ,how about a special added assessment tax on tourists and put those funds into a special energy cost account. Just my 2 cents.


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T
 T
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August 17, 2008 2:56 pm  

I warned of this months and months ago, but for some reason i was told that I was crazy.... I am glad that I was crazy enough to order my solar panels and my wind generator and all of my solar batteries....hahaha

All of the businesses that we need to make life easier for the residents and for the tourists will disappear like our beloved IHOP, et al. Soon the lack of infrastructure will take the big businesses down as well. Think about it.... we bitch and gripe about the cost of food, but the cost of food is high becasue places like plaza extra have an electric bill of $100,000 per month. Tickles has a bill of 13,000-17,000/month how can we fool ourselves into thinking these businesses can make it? I've owned lots of businesses, but not in this hostile environment..... so until we all unite, we can continue to bitch about a situation that isn't going away. Quit your bitchin' and do something about it.

Force the governor to declare a state of emergency to have the federal government come back into the VI and set things straight with power generation and the delicate balance that needs to be restored to bring the VI back into being competitive against the other islands as a REAL jewel that we all know it can be. i know, I know.... I'm crazy....lmao...

T.

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. ------Abraham Lincoln


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rokipatel
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August 17, 2008 2:58 pm  

At this moment as a Resident and Business investor my concern is if Wapa is able to guarantee reliable power without prolong interruptions. Because the more power outages we have because of Wapa inability to pay fuel cost to supply electricity the more usage o private generator and higher cost in fuel that business owners have to endure. In other words owning a generator does not exempt you from expending more money to buy fuel for the generator.


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Trade
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August 17, 2008 3:00 pm  

Well, T, go right ahead and Force the governor to declare a state of emergency to have the federal government come back into the VI and set things straight with power generation and the delicate balance that needs to be restored to bring the VI back into being competitive against the other islands as a REAL jewel that we all know it can be.

It may have been your beloved IHop & it was mine too the first few times I went there but in the last couple of months the food was disgusting/inedible & the service, while polite was terrible. Let's not blame everything on WAPA although that certainly didn't help.

~Trade~


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Betty
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August 17, 2008 3:46 pm  

Anytime you open a franchise on island you are taking a big risk. Most franchise fees are very high, unlike subway for example. You really need to have experience in the restaurant business and know your market. So many restaurant owners here simply to not have the experience it takes to make it here or even stateside. It may be everyone's dream to open a beach bar or open a restaurant in paradise, but its rarely a good idea. IMO I think its the worst business you could decide to open here or at least the one with the most risk. But I'm not a good gambler.


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Trade
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August 17, 2008 5:25 pm  

Betty, I think the guy who opened has a Subway franchise also but still didn't make it. Seriously, the food was really horrible. I think nobody was paying attention. It's too bad but I agree with you about it being a tough business everywhere but especially here.

~Trade~


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stiphy
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August 17, 2008 10:18 pm  

Betty, I think the guy who opened has a Subway franchise also but still didn't make it. Seriously, the food was really horrible. I think nobody was paying attention. It's too bad but I agree with you about it being a tough business everywhere but especially here.

Trade, I never ate there so I can't comment on the quality of the food. I'd like to throw out there that the fact that energy here costs so much leads people to cut corners which affects the quality of their products. The costs of energy here manifests itself as a problem in two ways, one is that things cost more, but prices can only be increased until you've maxed out the elasticity of demand. This leads to the second affect of high energy costs which is much more insidious and less visible, that is the quality of products suffer. Because no one will pay $15 for pancakes, which is what it may have cost them to make a profit with the riculous cost of energy here, the owner has a choice: shutdown, or make pancakes that are lower quality but can be sold for $10. Until the owner decided to shutdown they probably went with the latter option to try to make a go of it, eventually failing as people didn't like the lesser quality pancakes.

I imagine that this is another problem with franchises, you are more handcuffed in regards to the quality of the ingredients you have to use and the prices you can charge to be compliant with the terms of the franchise.

Basically all that was a long winded way to say that the energy costs lead us not only to pay more, but to pay more for less.

Sean


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