Feb. 14, 2006 – In a hastily called emergency board meeting Tuesday, Water and Power Authority Executive Director Alberto Bruno-Vega asked WAPA's governing board to give him permission to ask for an extension on completion of negotiations with Innoventor Technologies LLC.
Innoventor was chosen by WAPA recently to be the small power provider under the terms called for in the Jobs Creation Act (See "WAPA Selects Wind Technology as Alternative Energy Source").
A provision of the act required WAPA to submit a negotiated contract to the Public Services Commission by Thursday.
According to Bruno-Vega and Innoventor's legal counsel, George Dudley, both sides are quite close in agreeing to the terms and conditions of the Power Purchase Agreement. An extension of 60 days will provide both parties the opportunity to conclude negotiations and finalize an agreement, according to a release from WAPA sent after the meeting.
Bruno-Vega will have to go to the governor and the Legislature to seek an amendment to extend current deadlines.
According to the release, Innoventor had threatened to withdraw its proposal if they could not get a 60-day extension on reaching an agreement. Paul Engler, a principal of Innoventor, informed Bruno-Vega on Monday of his company's decision to withdraw its proposal to supply electricity to WAPA under the terms of the proposed agreement because of the time constraints imposed by the act. The decision to withdraw the proposal was because Innoventor needed to verify answers to certain engineering questions from its supplier. WAPA has insisted that the wind turbines be designed, built and warranted to withstand hurricane conditions.
WAPA governing board members agreed that the time line imposed in the legislation was a constraint on the due diligence undertaken since Innoventor submitted its proposal on Nov. 30, 2005.
Bruno-Vega said he initiated the request because WAPA sincerely believes that the wind energy project will make significant contributions to the V.I. economy, will diversify WAPA's energy source and have a very positive environmental impact on the territory.
He also said that despite any amendments to the law, Innoventor would be required to meet its original proposal to sell power to WAPA for 10.93 cents per kilowatt hour and be operational by no later than June 30, 2008. Engler reportedly said he was looking forward to finalizing the Power Purchase Agreement within the next 60 days.
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