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Christensen to Speak at Conference on Caribbean Power Grid


While rising oil prices are once again pushing up V.I. utility rates, Delegate Donna Christensen on Friday will address a group studying the feasibility of a Caribbean electrical grid to reduce regional energy costs and strengthen several islands’ electrical grids.

Christensen will be speaking in Puerto Rico at the Fourth International Conference of the International Center for Environmental Studies and Sustainable Development being held this weekend at the Universidad del Turabo-Gurabo.

The conference is taking a multidisciplinary approach to describing and analyzing the environmental and economic viability of the electrical interconnection of the Caribbean power systems, according to a statement from Christensen’s office.

Christensen has been working with the departments of Interior, Energy and State to explore the possibility of a grid that first connects Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and later the wider Caribbean to address the energy needs of the region, which currently imports 95 percent of its power.

“It is important to continue this vital dialogue as we move towards a more energy-efficient, environmentally sustainable Caribbean,” Christensen said in her statement. “This weekend’s conference is an important part of that conversation.”

Christensen will participate in a session entitled “Towards a Regional Grid: Legislation & Policy Implications,” which includes discussions on the financial structure for interconnection projects, and energy trading, among other topics.

The delegate will return to St. Thomas for the conclusion of the Children’s Parade and for Carnival Races on Friday, but will leave early on Saturday morning to travel to Indiana to keynote the Multi-ethnic Commencement Celebration for minority graduates at her alma mater, Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame on Sunday. She will return to Washington, D.C. on Monday for next week’s Congressional session.


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