Local USVI News

WAPA’s Chief Operating Officer Departs Authority For New Job in Texas

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Michael Sharp, who served in the role of chief financial officer at the V.I. Water and Power Authority from mid 2022, has resigned. The hire was approved by the WAPA board in April.

WAPA issued an internal memo announcing Mr. Sharp’s departure; the Consortium has learned that he will take up a job in Texas, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The memo says Mr. Sharp believes that the authority is on the right path and that leaving was difficult, however he eventually decided to take the job offered in Texas, where he is from.

WAPA Transmission and Distribution Director, Ashly Bryan will hold the position when Mr. Sharp departs Friday. The news was first reported by the St. Croix Avis Thursday.

In July, when WAPA was in negotiations with the V.I. government for funding to stay afloat following the sharp increase in oil, Mr. Sharp said at the time that in six month the authority expected one of its units (the recently purchased Unit 27) would be able to produce propane gas and save the authority $2.2 million dollars a month. 

Mr. Sharp’s departure comes at a turbulent time at the authority, which continues difficult negotiations with propane supplier Vitol over a $150 million debt WAPA owes the giant Swiss-based firm.

In November Vitol halted propane supplies to the authority, and though a temporary solution has since been reached, the V.I. government has assigned Squire Patton Boggs to assist WAPA with negotiating a permanent solution that would trigger the normal resumption of propane delivery.

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