Minister for Trade, Energy and Employment, Ian Douglas, has said that the government is now in a position to begin construction of a geothermal power plant in the Roseau Valley.
Douglas said that project could begin by the third quarter of 2019 as Dominica continues on its path towards becoming a climate resilient country.
“The government has seen tremendous progress being made in the Geothermal Development Programme. This is one of the pillars upon which we intend to achieve the goal of being the first climate resilient country in the world. We are now in the position to begin the construction of the power plant by the third quarter of 2019,” he said
He further mentioned how this can positively impact Dominica’s growth and advancement.
“With the commissioning of this plant, we will be in a position to benefit from clean, reliable, low-cost, renewable, high-quality energy supply in the future, which will benefit all sectors of productive activity in Dominica.”
Douglas thanked the international partners who have assisted the government in this quest to date.
The quest by the current administration to tap Dominica’s geothermal energy potential started as far back as 2011 when the government signed a contact for the exploratory drilling of geothermal wells in the Roseau Valley.
Drilling for the island’s geothermal project officially ended in 2015 and the project entered a new stage.
In his budget address that same year, Prime Minister Skerrit said that negotiations were underway for a joint venture with a French investment consortium, to build and operate the domestic plant with the aim of exporting electricity to Guadeloupe and Martinique.
The government subsequently announced in 2016, that it had taken a decision to run the geothermal project as a company solely owned by the government and people of Dominica and would go ahead alone, in constructing a small geothermal plant in Dominica. It committed to investing US$15M into the geothermal company with funds from the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CBI).
In February 2017, Prime Minister Skerrit stated that an investment of $45-million would be made available for the development of a geothermal plant. The funds, he said, would come from the CBI.
If Minister Douglas’s announcement materializes, it appears that some eight years after the geothermal development project started, Dominica could receive its first geothermal power plant.