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Governor Bryan Announces $2.3 million Payment to WAPA, Addressing Territory’s Urgent Energy Needs

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April 23, 2024


 Governor Albert Bryan Jr. has taken decisive action to secure the energy needs of the U.S. Virgin Islands by initiating a significant payment to the Virgin Islands Water & Power Authority (WAPA). On April 23rd, the Virgin Islands government made a payment of $2,316,889.64 to WAPA on behalf of the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority towards its substantial arrears.

This payment is part of a broader effort following Governor Bryan’s declaration of a state of emergency on Monday to address the territory’s energy security. This urgent step allowed access to funds from the Territory’s Budget Stabilization Fund to clear more than $11 million in debts owed by key semi-autonomous entities to WAPA.

This payment was specifically directed for WAPA to settle its debts with Aggreko, ensuring the continued operation and leasing of essential generators. This measure is critical to providing sufficient and reliable generation capacity to prevent rotating power outages in the St. Croix district. 

Governor Bryan emphasized the necessity of this action, stating, “The state of emergency was a necessary measure to counteract WAPA’s challenges in maintaining normal generation capacity and to prevent the unacceptable alternative of rotating power outages that would impact our residents and businesses severely.”

This emergency action follows a pivotal December 2023 meeting with members of the 35th Legislature, where Governor Bryan proposed a consolidated financial oversight measure for semi-autonomous agencies. This initiative was aimed at ensuring that funds allocated to these agencies are expressly used to fulfill their utility obligations. Unfortunately, this proposal was not taken up by the legislature, leaving critical financial issues unresolved. 

In addition to Tuesday’s payment, the Government of the Virgin Islands had recently paid just over $4 million to WAPA on April 12, 2024, for regular monthly bills from the Single Payer Utility Fund, plus funds on behalf of the Governor Juan F Luis Hospital and the Schneider Regional Medical Center, ensuring they meet their utility obligations.

Governor Bryan continued, “Rotating power is an unacceptable recourse for inaction. My administration remains committed to working with the 35th Legislature to resolve the financial challenges facing WAPA and ensure the Authority is placed on a sound financial footing for the future.”

Shortly after taking office in January 2019, Governor Bryan’s administration has addressed over $26 million in outstanding debts to WAPA, maintaining current payments through a single-payer system for central government agencies. 

The Bryan Roach administration has included $5 million annually for the Budget Stabilization Fund since the FY2020 Executive Budget year and intends to continue to earmark funding for the Budget Stabilization Fund in its Fiscal Year Executive Budget proposals. 

The Governor reiterates his administration’s ongoing commitment to fiscal responsibility and proactive governance to secure the well-being and economic stability of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Bryan-Roach Administration is investing in the Territory’s people, infrastructure, and future through transparency, stabilizing the economy, restoring trust in the government, and ensuring that recovery projects are completed as quickly as possible. Visit transparency.vi.gov

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