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Senate Passes Bill Mandating WAPA to Seek Federal Aid for Grid Modernization

  • Staff Consortium
  • July 23, 2024

Senator Donna Frett-Gregory on Tuesday announced the passage of Bill No. 35-0311, which mandates that the V.I. Water and Power Authority seek federal technical assistance within 60 days to modernize its electrical grid. “I strongly believe that it’s time for us to really engage the federal partners in a meaningful way,” Frett-Gregory stated. According to the senator, the measure, passed during Monday's marathon session, was influenced by a recent meeting with U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. During her visit, Secretary Granholm emphasized the "unacceptable" power reliability issues affecting U.S. Virgin Islands residents and indicated that the U.S. Department of Energy would be willing to provide federal technical assistance to WAPA if requested. Frett-Gregory highlighted the urgency of the situation, noting the ongoing state of emergency characterized by rotating power outages, outdated equipment, and failures in generating capacity and distribution. “We must solicit t...