The Beacon had been requesting a copy of the Anegada solar contract for more than a year when the BVI Electricity Corporation finally responded in February.
Its answer: a hard no.
The utility stated that it will not provide a copy of the multimillion-dollar contract it signed in November 2021 with Rob Wallace Jr., a Maryland developer who filed for personal bankruptcy about five weeks after breaking ground on the Anegada solar project last December.
Nor will the BVIEC provide other contracts showing how it has spent the public’s money.
“The corporation enters into a wide variety of contracts from time to time in order to carry out its mandate and is under no mandatory obligation to make its contracts public,” then-acting BVIEC General Manager Symorne Penn wrote in a Feb. 21 email.
“Contracts typically contain factual, legal, and technical terms and data, and as such the contracts themselves are not ordinarily meant for the public at large.”
She added that “summary details” of the Anegada solar project had already been provided to the media and otherwise “put forth” in the public domain.
“In addition, previous responses by the corporation’s past general manager, [Leroy Abraham], to questions raised by The BVI Beacon already address matters relating to the project,” Ms. Penn wrote.
In fact, Mr. Abraham and other BVIEC officials didn’t grant the Beacon an interview about the Anegada project despite more than two years of requests, and the limited information they did provide has left many questions unanswered.
Attempts to obtain a copy of the contract from government Communications Director Dr. Arliene Penn were also unsuccessful.