Move toward automatic meter infrastructure in Virgin Islands


Hugo V. Hodge, Jr.,
Executive Director,
St Croix, Virgin Islands — (METERING.COM) — August 29, 2011 – The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority Governing Board has authorized the company’s executive director Hugo Hodge to negotiate a $13.2 million loan with the Rural Utilities Services (RUS) to finance an automated meter infrastructure (AMI).

“We are very excited about this modern, state-of-the-art addition,” said Hodge. “It will allow us to remotely read the entire system, and improve the accuracy of those readings.”

The initiative will also assist WAPA’s 54,000 electric customers to become more energy efficient, and it will assist the utility to reduce revenue loss from fraud and tampering and help to make connection and disconnection more cost effective.

The AMI also will work well with WAPA’s GPS/GIS project. The initial system provides a functional and accurate mechanism for the authority to efficiently manage its electric assets, assist with targeting and reducing line loss, as well as, identifying pole attachments to augment revenue. The original project came in significantly under budget and the board approved the extension of a contract with R.W. Beck to implement the Outage Management System (OMS), Partner Field Designer (Automated Staking). These projects will improve the response time during outages and enhance system engineering and customer service, with the contract completion due January 31, 2012.

The loan for the AMI project is intended to help reduce the amount that needs to be financed. This project has net present value savings of approximately $46 million over 15 years.