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Energy Office Blast VOLUME 1, NUMBER 13

JULY 16, 2012

UVI Sponsors Symposium on Renewable Energy Bill The Caribbean Green Technology Center at the University of the Virgin Islands presents a public symposium on the Renewable Energy Act 7075, July 17, at 6 p.m. at UVI St. Thomas campus ACC Room 142. Speakers include Sen. Louis Patrick Hill, Karl Knight, director of the Energy Office and Philip Smith, director of permits. For information on energy efficiency or alternative energy, visit the V.I. Energy website at www.vienergy.org

Use fans with your air conditioner. Fans help reduce energy costs by circulating the cool air from your air conditioner. This allows you to raise the temperature and still be comfortable. Use oscillating fans for greater circulation.


VI Energy Office St. Croix Tel. 713.8436 St. Thomas Tel. 714.8436

VI Governor makes major speech about energy issues and challenges Gov. John P. de Jongh, Jr. told federal officials and energy industry experts on June 13 that sustainable energy production was the future for the Caribbean, and the Virgin Islands would continue to adopt strategies ensuring clean energy leadership. The governor said the administration has made investments demonstrating its commitment to reduce energy costs, increase the territory's electrical system's stability and protect


the natural environment. He also called on the greater community to participate in the territory’s energy consumption reduction goal and outlined a plan to help the Virgin Islands achieve its 60% goal by 2025, through a diversified energy portfolio “Developing and broadly implementing new, sustainable energy sources may be the most pressing global challenge of the 21st century. There is no nation or region in the world that is not concerned about this issue. But for island nations and territories, energy independence is even more urgent, and a sustainable solution even more vital to long-term economic health and prosperity,” de Jongh said. The governor spoke before officials from the U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Department of Energy, local business leaders, service providers and other government officials. He said high energy costs are an oppressive burden on the territory's still-fragile economy, and the territory is at a disadvantage because it is not connected to a larger electrical grid. To transition away from fossil fuels requires a major investment from businesses and support from the local and federal government, he said. “On the energy front, the world has changed for island nations. A global shift is coming in energy leadership, and the Virgin Islands is poised to do what is needed to step away from our dependence on fossil fuel, adapt to our changing environment and simultaneously achieve growth,” de Jongh said. The administration’s ambitious benchmark set two years ago provides energy stewardship and is setting the pace in sustainability and private sector partnership. Recently, WAPA signed power purchase agreements with three companies that will develop 18 megawatts of solar energy across the islands, a landmark action representing the territory’s largest investment yet in clean energy. “Those who doubt that our 60% goal is achievable are already being proven wrong,” de Jongh said. Other island communities are struggling with the same challenges, Governor de Jongh noted, including Hawaii, the Northern Mariana Islands, and many Caribbean nations, which pay utility costs comparable to those in the Virgin Islands.


“Energy costs are a prime factor in economic sustainability, especially in outlying areas. For that reason, it is absolutely critical that we embrace solar, wind, landfill gas, biomass, waste-to-energy, recycling, net metering, and other technologies to expand the territory’s energy conservation capability,” the governor said. The 130 megawatt combined capacity of the territory's power plants is on par with many other Caribbean islands, but the territory is unique in that it has two independent systems that must support St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John and Water Island. Upon taking office, Governor de Jongh launched several initiatives to meet the 2025 benchmark, starting with transferring the Virgin Islands Energy Office into a unit of the Governor's Office and working with the Southern States Energy Board to establish a strategic plan for the territory. Joining the Energy Development in Island Nations (EDIN) partnership was also a major step toward increasing energy security by working with regional neighbors. “We must look past the HOVENSA closure and the economic challenges of the present to a new operating model for our economy. This is the time for us to re-evaluate our energy security, including our vulnerability to supply disruptions and expand our economic platform. It is clearer now more than ever that we must diversify our supply to bring down costs; reduce instability; have more concern for the environment; and broaden our economic platform for overall development,” de Jongh said. He continued by stating, “There is no magic bullet. What President Obama says about the nation's energy policy applies equally well for this Territory: we need an all-of-theabove approach. We need to invest in the energy sources of tomorrow and that is exactly what we are doing.” The Chief Executive concluded his speech by indicating that investments in renewable energy systems are “one of the most important things that we can do.” “We have to move in a different path, and we need to take risks. We simply have to change the way we do business.” The governor thanked Quality Electric for organizing the conference and for bringing together “a group of individuals who clearly get it.” Here is a video of the speech.


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Virgin Islands Students tour alternative energy installations The Virgin Islands Energy Office took a dozen students to visit alternative energy sites on July 6. The sites included the St. Croix Reformed Church wind turbine site and a resident’s home where solar power is used, not only to power the house, but also to power the resident’s vehicle. Above Carl Joseph, energy analyst for the Energy Office, explained how a wind turbine produces electricity. Here is a video of that tour.

Virgin islands Energy Blast- July 2012  

For information on energy efficiency or alternative energy, visit the V.I. Energy website at www.vienergy.org

Virgin islands Energy Blast- July 2012  

For information on energy efficiency or alternative energy, visit the V.I. Energy website at www.vienergy.org

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