November 20, 2017 11:36 am Last modified: 12:21 pm

V.I. Energy Office Blast

At the Energy Development in Island Nations conference on St. Thomas in mid-December progress on goals to cut use of fossil fuels were outlined.
USVI EDIN Project Officially Ends
The Energy Development in Island Nations (EDIN), which kicked off in the Virgin Islands in February 2010, is officially over. Karl Knight, director of the Virgin Islands Energy Office, made the announcement at the EDIN conference on St. Thomas on Dec. 12. He said the project, the product of an agreement signed by the U.S. Department of Interior, Gov. John P. de Jongh Jr. and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, would be transitioning into a local campaign falling under the theme of ViEnergize.
Knight recapped the progress the V.I. has made to reach the EDIN goal of reducing fossil fuel consumption 60 percent by the year 2025. He told the audience, which included about 60 members of the public as well as Basil Ottley, Department of Interior; Jennifer Decesaro, Department of Energy; and several project developers, that in the span that EDIN was active, the Water and Power Authority (WAPA) reduced oil consumption by 11 percent.
Knight presented an overview of several areas – solar, wind, biomass and energy efficiency, and other speakers gave the specifics of projects. Hugo Hodge, executive director of WAPA, spoke about the solar projects the Authority has online. He also addressed questions about the territory’s net metering program.
Patricia Lord, grants program coordinator at the Energy Office, spoke about the wind anemometer loan program in the territory. Tim Brown, Islands Wind Energy, described the 100 KWs wind turbine he installed at Estate Lorraine Village earlier this year. Adam Warren, from NREL, spoke about the measurements being taken to see if utility-scale wind development has potential. Tania Tomyn, Tibbar Energy, spoke about the biomass project her company has proposed to produce 7 MWs of power for WAPA. May Cornwall and Jim Grum of the Waste Management Authority talked about energy-from-waste projects.
Several people spoke about energy efficiency projects. Doug Tischbein, Energy Systems Group, told about the savings that have been realized in recent years at the schools and what is possible. His slides are available at as are the slides from some of the other presentations.
In the afternoon, Richard Elliot, Vitol, gave information about the project to switch WAPA’s fuel supply to propane. Wayne Archibald talked about initiatives of the University of Virgin Islands’ Caribbean Green Technology Center. David McGeown, McGeown & Associates, gave an update on WAPA’s ViEnergize Business Services Unit.
A note about a Stradivarius
On Jan. 12 at the St. Croix Reformed Church in La Reine, violin virtuoso Elizabeth Pitcairn will perform at 5:30 p.m. She will be playing the red violin, a Stradivarius, which is said to be the violin upon which the movie “The Red Violin” was based. Barbara Podgurski will accompany her on piano. For more information, e-mail Pastor Rod Koopmans. The Reformed Church is the one on the hill with the wind turbine.

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