Government has invested close to US$50 million in geothermal project, says Energy Minister

Dr Vince Henderson – focus on Government and Development

Energy Minister Dr. Vince Henderson has announced that the government has made great progress and is at a stage where it is ready to build the geothermal power plant for Dominica. He was speaking during the ‘Focus on Government and Development’ program on DBS Radio on Friday.

According to him, wells have been drilled in Laudat where the geothermal plant is located and it has proven that Dominica has Geothermal resource potential, enough to transmit and distribute throughout Dominica.

Government has made investments so far of close to US$50 million, half of which are grants that it has been able to attract from friends, donors, institutions as well as bilateral partners.

“Having done that we have gotten to the stage where we are ready to actually build the power plant and to get the power to DOMLEC through a transmission system which will take us from the Roseau Valley all the way to Fond Cole,” Dr. Henderson explained. “We have made great progress and we are very excited about where we are now, because we are at the stage where we are ready to actually start work on the power plant.”

Furthermore, he said the government did not choose geothermal because it was easy, geothermal was chosen because of the potential to transform Dominica.

“We have the potential and some islands don’t. So, we have the potential and we see how it can help to transform Dominica’s energy landscape, but also we can change things around,” he stated. “Because one of the highest costs of operations is energy/electricity.”

Additionally, Dr. Henderson pointed out that it is one of the most resilient forms of renewable energy.

“Solar and wind are good, they have their place, but there are also some serious challenges that geothermal doesn’t have,” he noted. “Because, once you go, you drill, you build a proper housing or a proper facility for that plant, you don’t have to worry about hurricanes. It’s not like panels that can be blown away or broken if some flying object knocks it up…”

Furthermore, he mentioned that geothermal energy goes 24/7. “It just keeps on going,” Dr. Henderson indicated.  “It doesn’t stop as long as you maintain it properly.”

Government has signed an agreement with Ormat Technologies Inc of Nevada USA recently to ensure they can get a cost of generation, meaning that Ormat will sell power to DOMLEC at a rate that is much lower than what it currently costs to generate electricity with diesel generators.

The company provides 80 percent of the equipment for geothermal power generation in the world using binary technology.

“In terms of diesel it will knock off the fuel surcharge so we won’t be paying fuel surcharge..,” Dr. Henderson revealed.

He said the plant will produce 10 megawatts of power which will, in effect, “knock off” the diesel generators that would have been required to provide that amount of power.

This, he said, will reduce the fuel surcharge significantly.

Government has been working on the geothermal project for the past 20 years.

In October last year while speaking at the opening ceremony of a two-day ‘Geothermal Global Partners Conference’, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit stated that a total of over EC$150 million had so far been invested in Dominica’s geothermal project.

“Over US$55 million or EC [Eastern Caribbean] 150 million dollars have been invested thus far in this project,” he said, adding that most of the investment was in infrastructure and that “45 percent [about US25 million] of this cost has been shouldered by the government of Dominica, but significantly 55 percent of this funding has come in the form of infrastructure grants and technical assistance from partners.”

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  1. BRidge
    January 29, 2024

    Yes, 50 million USD and nothing to show for it. Well done Henderson, well done Skerrit.

  2. If we knew better
    January 22, 2024

    I am of firm belief that if we had managed the CBI program better we could have afforded to build and operate the geothermal project without all these big loans we have to end up paying back. Id like to know how much of CBI funds were used in this development so far.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1
  3. Just Asking
    January 22, 2024

    Ok, but why no mention of the 25 years, that’s a lifetime, and as stated we will only save on the fuel sur-charge; at the pleasure of said company?
    20 years in the making, didn’t former ambassador Crispin already put things in place 15 years ago with the Icelandic gov’t entities to erect this and ran locally like they do, without foreign runners? Negotiating skills put us that deep maybe?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3
  4. danger man
    January 22, 2024

    I am concerned about this project from a safety perspective. There is only one narrow steep and winding access road leading up to Laudat, which could be made impassable by another climate event. Being on a fault line of the earth’s crust further exposes us to the danger of earthquake disruption, which could damage the geothermal installation, releasing toxic gases into the air. Our capitol Roseau is downwind from all this. Had US$50 million been spent on implementing already tried, tested and completely safe wind and solar technologies, then Dominica would already be well on its way to becoming energy independent.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 45 Thumb down 0
    • Putin
      January 22, 2024

      “Had US$50 million been spent on implementing already tried, tested and completely safe wind and solar technologies …” Reliable?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 17
  5. L C Matthew
    January 21, 2024

    Vince so tell me, Geothermal has no disadvantages or potential issue. So you are not going to have any issues with calcification, enthalpy, circulation, and we have good connected fracture and permeability in this volcanic formation to move geothermal fluids? just asking.
    Also can you show us the levelized cost calculation and the financial model that shows this is feasible and how the over 50 million will be recouped with operating cost projections and profits. If you cannot give this info I suggest you shut your trap.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2
  6. Ibo France
    January 21, 2024

    Between Vince and Roosevelt, it’s a coin toss to know which one is the bigger liar. From time immemorial this government has been tantalizing Dominicans about the imminent delivery of geothermal energy and an international airport. I want to impress on this corrupt government that well done is much better than well said.

    Vince, your government’s track record of lies and deception is so loud that we can’t hear you when you speak. The country wants deeds not anymore endless, empty rhetoric.

    The Roosevelt led autocracy continues to make a humongous bunch of promises. I’m reminded that LIARS make the best and most toothsome promises.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3
  7. Hello
    January 21, 2024

    Only in Dominica can a man babble that his government has spent over US$50 000 000.00 on geothermal, and the people of the country can’t even light a flashlight bulb from this EC$135 million dollars spent.
    This guy is shameless and insults people like me who know better.
    Whoever thinks that Skerrit is a bad leader, (and he is indeed terrible), well my friends con Vince is even worse!!
    Does this EC$50 000 000.00 include monies spent in the Soufriere area re that same geothermal???

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3
    • Marie
      January 22, 2024

      Welcome to Dominica, the pirate state of the Caribbean, where the Duke of Morne Daniel reigns large.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2
  8. JAH KAL
    January 21, 2024

    Vince you a so pathetic , birds of a feather flock togerther,you hear lie thats is lie ,dominicans fedup with those lie. The way this guy is talking is like he is catering power for two million people where as dominica population is 70 thousand people, and in the mean time destroying the water sauce in the valley.
    The world need water and we taking ours for granted. they talking about the nature isle and they destroying the water sauses all over dominica.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3
  9. January 21, 2024

    Man let me reiterate again. you all have no shame. Stop this shameless attitude. Go to Ghana and don’t come back. $50 million dollars have been invested in you and your family. The car that you are driving how much did it cost? Please invest $100 million in the Healthcare system. Where is the $B4.6? Where is it?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 3
  10. Zandoli
    January 21, 2024

    DNO….I am not sure if that was a typo or Vince made an error, but that should be 10 Megawatts (not kilo).

    ADMIN: Thank you for the correction.

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