Governor Bryan Declares State of Emergency to Restore Energy Security in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Governor’s action ensures payment of more than $11 million to satisfy overdue payments to cash strapped Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority on behalf of territory’s semi-autonomous entities to include the Juan F. Luis Hospital and Schneider Regional Medical Center, as well as the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority.

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS — Governor Albert Bryan Jr. has declared a State of Emergency to address the ongoing energy production shortfalls impacting the U.S. Virgin Islands. The declaration was made during a special press briefing held at the Government House on St. Thomas.

“Today’s declaration of a State of Emergency is a critical step towards restoring energy security, resolving past due payments to WAPA (Water and Power Authority), and rectifying the conditions causing rotational outages and a loss of generating capacity,” said Governor Bryan. This decisive action is aimed at stabilizing the territory’s energy infrastructure and ensuring the reliability of utility services for all residents.

Under the State of Emergency, the Governor has outlined a plan to clear the debts of key semi-autonomous governmental bodies including Schneider Regional Medical Center, Juan F. Luis Hospital, and the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority. This action will provide WAPA with the necessary liquidity to maintain operations and prevent future service interruptions.

Governor Bryan emphasized his administration’s commitment to maintaining affordable electric rates despite significant challenges: “Despite a peak in oil prices, we have managed to prevent rate increases by implementing a fuel subsidization program from March 2022 to June 2023, costing nearly $100 million, effectively subsidizing $2,000 per household to maintain stable electricity costs.”

The declaration also includes the formation of a Task Force to pursue several urgent initiatives:

– Funding and implementation of a Management Turnaround company to recommend fiscal and operational improvements at WAPA.

– Finalizing the installation of WAPA’s Wartsila generators and completing the Vitol transaction to shift operations predominantly to propane.

– Activating 60+ MW of renewable energy following the completion of an interconnection study and battery agreements.

– Streamlining government processes to expedite the installation of renewable energy sources throughout the territory.

– Ensuring the government’s commitment to meet its obligations to WAPA bondholders and creditors, as well as catching up on past due audits and financial submissions.

“These steps are essential not only to stabilize our current situation but to lay a robust foundation for a sustainable and resilient energy future,” Governor Bryan stated. “I am committed to a comprehensive overhaul of our energy systems to ensure reliability and affordability for every resident of the Virgin Islands.”

Governor Bryan concluded by thanking Senate President Novelle Francis for his efforts to address these issues and stressed the urgency of implementing these measures without further delay.

The Governor’s Office will continue to provide updates on the progress of these initiatives and the overall status of the energy system in the 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