Legal Battle Looms Between Gov’t and Peter Virdee’s PV Energy For Non-performance


Cabinet Notes: The General Manager, the Electricity Manager and one other APUA official were invited to Cabinet to address the issue of solar energy provision by the P.V. Energy Company.

Three solar plants have been established on Antigua by that company with contracts. The APUA officials were asked to present to the Cabinet their assessment of the costs and the benefits thus far.

A contract with P.V. Energy to provide batteries–for storage of electricity–that are intended to ensure a steady stream of electricity supply, rather than severe fluctuations from the solar plants, has not yet been fulfilled.

A lawsuit is being readied against the supplier for non-performance.

From left, Peter Virdee, Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Minister of Energy Asot Michael, and Utilities Minister Sir Robin Yearwood during the opening of the airport solar plant in February 2016. (File photo)

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  1. In the future photo opts has hidden significance

    The leader of government is only second to the Governor General.

    Looks like Peter was calling the shots.

    Its about time these plants start producing……

  2. What happen in the dark of night must come out in the light of day. Are you giving back the Rolex watch top dawg? I am wondering if Mammy still driving the Mercedes Benz, Pussy Salad how much was in the brown paper bag from Peter Virdee? This photo Op with Peter Virdee speaks volume, are they all friends well met? Hmmmm!

    • Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! ‘And Yeshua said to them, “There is no Prophet who is despised except in his city and among his kindred and in his house.”’ – The Aramaic Text! Many of Mi Gud Frens have requested comments, which have caused this commenter a great deal of anguish because too many are always chasing not only “The Big Score” but also “Melee!” Just as was said with the WPP and the Roadway Upgrades, it’s all in the Specifications! GoAB may sue! Can GoAB prevail! In those two cases this mere voice did not think so! In this case, it is highly doubtful! It may have some level of probability given the PM’s Track record since he may have facts that the public is not privy to!

      “The Afrocentric method considers that no phenomena can be apprehended adequately without locating it first. A phenom must be studied and analyzed in relationship to psychological time and space. It must always be located. This is the only way to investigate the complex interrelationships of science and art, design and execution, creation and maintenance, generation and tradition, and other areas bypassed by theory.” – Dr. Molefi Asante, Afrocentricity, The theory of Social Change!

      When this proposed project was announced, it was suggested to mi gud frens that as much as PV Solar Power has some advantages, there were other approaches readily available on the Rock with a higher pay back and would be better deployed to provide electricity and capital savings for when PV Solar technology could be more efficiently deployed in the Tropics since the PV panels were designed for the Temperate Zones! Improvements are steadily being made! To date, too many are still driven by shiny objects, not the Science and hence “every deal is a steal!” Additionally apart from the financing arrangements which were not disclosed, four critical negatives were highlighted which would reduce the efficiency and effectiveness of the proposed plant: the panels were fixed with no mechanical controls to mirror the Sun’s movement across the Antiguan Sky; there were no automated washing mechanisms to maintain the panels’ cleanliness in Antigua’s hot and dusty environment where they were located to heavily used roadways; and there were no storage capacity and computerized switching systems to control the electricity loads onto the existing electricity grid which lacked the micro-circuitry! Friends, Country WoMen, Rastas, therein lie the rub which has been laid before you by this mere voice with the WPP! It’s not a winning legal hand! ” it appears that many of the institutional weaknesses underlying poor provision and low sustainability are not magicked away by allowing private investment, … Across infrastructure as a whole, governments and donors (The Investor Partner is not a Donor) still account for around four fifths of sector investment. And while private providers have, on average, improved service quality and access, overall impact has been limited compared to initial hopes, there are numerous examples of failed provision, and increasing evidence of public disenchantment with private providers (Estache, 2006) ” World Bank Document: Policy Research Working Paper 4331!

      It was advised that rather than the small solar plant on the airport lands, which to date has provided no electricity to the VCBIA, it would be recommended to use the well maintained Electricity Generating Plant at the US Base which GoAB had acquired with the hand over of the property when the US pulled up stakes prior to the expiry of the lease they had from the Colonial Government, to feed the airport’s electricity load requirements and to set up a sinking capital fund from the realized savings of not investing in the capital cost to build a PV Solar plant until the Technology was improved for temperate zones! Neither mi gud frens nor the Powers that be entertained the advice! They ploughed ahead on the airport lands, set up a shiny and gleaming plant for all to see and be bamboozled by! A beautiful Green Plant complete with sheep to eat and manage the grass around and under the panels! What could be any Greener Solution! Everyone rejoiced and celebrated! It has produced no Electricity! The Airport receives its electricity from the Old US Naval Base Power Plant! No Sinking Capital Fund! The People of African Descent were never advised of these failures! The UK Government detained a Politico! A Comrade was chastised! Barabbas stayed clear! Pontius Pilate washed his hands!

      This mere voice in the wilderness provided for the benefit to all, four studies to buttress the arguments to mi gud frens, the powers that be and the technocrats: Most relevant was Barbados, Wind and Solar Integration Study Prepared for: Barbados Light and Power Company Limited, Prepared by: GE Energy Consulting Date: February 12, 2015; A US DOE Study for Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the USVI; Nicaragua’s photovoltaic power plant in Diriamba; and, South Africa’s Giant Kalahari Desert’s Kathu Solar Park which does not use PV panels but provided a comparison on technology and cost comparisons!

      Recognizing that no one was either reading or listening, because the Investor had providing a well crafted deceptively delivered and compelling proposal with a politico in tow to unscientific minds, another approach was made which may be referred to as “if you can beat them join them” to identify and possibly mitigate the expected loss! “One of the key assumptions of the Afrocentrist is that all relationships are based on centers and margins and the distances from either the center or the margin. When black people view themselves as centered and central in their own history then they see themselves as agents, actors, and participants rather than as marginals on the periphery of political or economic experience. ” – Asante!

      Discussions yielded the following: no investment package with the pay rate and budget; that this was a Private Proposal with no competitive bid process; that the investor had control of the deal, even though it was said to structured as a P3 – Private, Public Partnership! It was a sad case! Neither the Utility nor the Commission had their heads or hands around the project! This highlighted a very poor Governance Structure as has been exemplified on the WWP and Road Upgrades Projects!

      Not being able to get access to the documents, a rough order of magnitude costing was advanced and provided for a 10 MW PV Solar Farm at a proposed site of some 75 acres with an estimated cost in the range of $45 million for a fixed plant and $65 million for a plant with all the bells and whistles as detailed in Para3! For the 3 MW plant a prorated analysis could be used to arrive at a rough order of magnitude costing! Whether the suggestions were discussed or given any weight is not known!

      This mere voice in the wilderness saw this sorry a$$ development from a traveler’s view as a wiser but sadder national! Clearly it confirmed the WB findings that “Failed governance can lead to the construction of the wrong infrastructure, poor construction and quality of provision, insufficient maintenance and high levels of thefts and losses, then. This can dramatically reduce economic returns not just to individual projects but to the entire infrastructure stock, and lead to lower levels and less efficient provision of infrastructure provision –a result that has been empirically illustrated in a number of studies (Estache and Kouassi, 2002, Kaufmann et. al. 2005, Castalia, 2004, Bo and Rossi, 2006)” – World Bank Document!

      For the Melee component which the Local News Portals and vast segments of the population are relishing, It would require more in depth analyses of the contracts and specifications, which were not afforded to this this commenter, in order to confirm or disabuse of another WB finding for infrastructure projects which states: “The importance of institutions to infrastructure performance also emerges from an analysis of the costs of corruption in the sector. Corruption is a symptom of failed governance, but can also act to further weaken the governance environment. Corrupt acts not only raise the price of infrastructure but can also reduce the quality of and economic returns to infrastructure investment.” – WB Document!

      This constant attempt at “The Big Score” by unscientific and engineering talent has lead to GoAB inevitably getting tangled up in a series of trials and tribulations giving rise to tragic mishaps as is the case with the WPP and this sorry a$$ Photovoltaic Solar Plant at VCBIA and Bethesda! For those who wish to fully understand what’s at play, if you do not have the time to invest in the four examples provided, visit Barbados Light and Power which is wholly owned by EMERA, a Canadian Company, and explore the information on the 10 MW Photo-voltaic Solar Plant at Trents, St. Lucy!

      “What is any better than operating and acting out of our own collective interest? What is any greater than seeing the world through our eyes? What resonates more with people than understanding that we are central to our history, not someone else’s? If we can, in the process of materializing our consciousness, claim space as agents of progressive change, then we can change our condition and change the world.” – Asante!

      • @JFII…man, you’re still rolling, even though, you’re the “lone voice in the wilderness.”
        As usual, it’s always a pleasure gaining insight from your analyses.

  3. Can you check those documents for these solar plants investment ? Who signed for Mr. Virdee and who signed for the government of Antigua & Barbuda. There is much more behind this move than what first appears to the mind.
    This is a clear case of one top Dawg comrade going after a want to be top dawg comrade. The falling out brings this event to the table now.

    APUA management is the middle man being used like a pawn to start the battle.

    One again, Antiguans: You are fast asleep and got your MISLEADERS misleading you down the very dangerous path.
    Politrickians, permanent secretaries, civil servants, statuary body members, hotel owners, religious ministers, calypsonians, taxi drivers, bus drivers,…. Yeah… did I leave anyone out ?

    Oh yes….if you did not see your name mentioned here then you are included also. Your CORRUPTION WILL SOON COME AROUND TO JUDGE YOU. EVERY THOUGHT AND ACTION WILL BE JUDGED. DO NOT BE FOOLED ! JEHOVAH NEVER SLEEPS 1

    YES….I am talking to you who is reading this. Truth does hurt, but yes….it SETS YOU FREE AND FREE INDEED if you follow it.

    WAKE UP.


  4. That picture above.Three blind mice plus one.Which one of those got kickbacks from Virdee.I wondered if that Rolex watch still working.

  5. How can there be talk of non performance when no criteria was set or agreed to in the first place? He will perform better tomorrow. Lol!

  6. I wish the UPP had started legal action against the company that sold them the WPP. if they had done so perhaps today we would have gotten our money back or a better plant. But instead they were so ashamed and hid the fact that the plant was not worth the money they paid for it.
    Our present PM will always fight for Antigua and Barbuda.

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