IEEE Electrification Magazine - March 2015 - 57

The U.S. Virgin Islands are located in the Atlantic Standard
Time zone and do not participate in Daylight Saving Time.
When the mainland United States is on standard time, the
U.S. Virgin Islands are 1 h ahead of
Eastern Standard Time. When the
mainland United States is on Daylight Saving Time, Eastern Daylight
Time is the same as Atlantic Standard Time.

Geography

are around 78 °F in the summer and 72 °F in the winter.
Rainfall averages about 39 in per year. Rainfall can be quite
variable, but the wettest months on average are September
to November, and the driest months
on average are February and March.
The U.S. Virgin Islands are subject to
tropical storms and hurricanes, with
the hurricane season running from
June to November. In recent history,
substantial damage was caused by
Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and Hurricane Marilyn in 1995.

PPA is a financing
arrangement that
allows UVI to
purchase solar
electricity with
little to no upfront
capital cost.

The U.S. Virgin Islands consist of the
main islands of Saint (St.) Croix, St.
John, and St. Thomas, along with the
much smaller but historically distinct
Water Island, and many other surrounding minor islands. The main
islands have nicknames often used by
locals: "Twin City" (St. Croix), "Rock
City" (St. Thomas), and "Love City" (St.
John). The combined land area of the islands is 133.73 mi2,
roughly twice the size of Washington, D.C. The U.S. Virgin
Islands are known for their white-sand beaches. Most of the
islands, including St. Thomas, are volcanic in origin and hilly.
The highest point is Crown Mountain, St. Thomas (1,555 ft).

Climate
The U.S. Virgin Islands have a tropical climate, moderated
by easterly trade winds and with relatively low humidity.
Natural hazards include earthquakes and tropical cyclones
(including hurricanes). Temperatures vary little throughout
the year. Statistical temperature and precipitation data are
shown in Table 1 and Figure 2. In the capital city of Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas, the typical daily maximum
temperatures are around 91 °F in the summer and 86 °F in
the winter, and the typical daily minimum temperatures

Economy

The U.S. Virgin Islands are an independent customs territory from the
mainland United States and operate
largely as a free port. Tourism is the
primary economic activity (Figure 3).
The islands normally host 2 million
visitors a year, many of whom visit on cruise ships. The
manufacturing sector consists mainly of rum distilling. The
agricultural sector is small, with most food being imported.
International business and financial services are a small
but growing component of the economy. To draw more
technology-focused companies and expand this segment of
the economy, the government founded and launched UVI
Research and Technology Park in conjunction with private
businesses and UVI.
The aggregate population of the U.S. Virgin Islands is
estimated to be approximately 109,000. About 42% of the
population is between the ages of 25 and 54. The median
household income, adjusted for inflation, is approximately
US$32,000, well below the current U.S. average of about
US$50,000. The poverty rate is relatively high in the U.S.
Virgin Islands. U.S. census data indicate approximately
image courtesy of wikimedia commons/ryansmith714

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Electrification Magazine - March 2015

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