A $1 million grant from the Department of Interior’s Insular Affairs Office will help jump-start a move toward an electric fleet of vehicles, the V.I. Water and Power Authority announced this week.
“WAPA will strive to adopt initiatives and implement policy that reduces the dependence of imported and volatile fossil fuels,” said Noel Hodge, WAPA executive director in a press release.
According to the statement, bucket trucks, pick-up trucks, and other associated equipment used to maintain the territory’s electric grid will be transitioned to hybrid or electric vehicles as a result of the funding.
V.I. Energey Office Director Kyle Fleming praised the planned transition, noting that “WAPA embraces transportation electrification and is committed to leading by example through the initiation of electrification of its own internal fleet.”
According to the statement, Interior also approved a $1.15 million grant for the V.I. Energy Office to procure battery electric vehicles for the V.I. government as well as to develop a network of electric vehicle charging stations throughout the territory.
The grant funding also supports the formal launch of the government’s Go Fleet initiative.
Fleming and Hodge, in a joint statement, said their respective agencies are “committed to transcending the pace of the transportation energy trends, and support from federal partners is critical to achieving the objective.”
“We are not only adding more renewables to the grid by way of the mammoth strategic transformation plan WAPA has engaged, but we are seizing every opportunity to utilize cleaner, modern and more efficient technology across the utility,” Hodge said.
Hodge thanked the Interior for approval of the grant. He also thanked WAPA staff whom he said worked diligently on the application.