Dominica has potential to generate over 120 megawatts of electricity – Vince Henderson

Geothermal activity in the Roseau Valley

Dominica’s geothermal project has the potential to generate over 120 megawatts of electricity .

Dominica’s ambassador to the United States of America (USA) and Organisation of American States (OAS), Dr. Vince Henderson expressed that view recently while talking recently with Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit on his weekly Annou Palé talk show.

He said Dominica is at an advanced stage of implementation of the geothermal project and associated works and it is a very exciting opportunity for the country.

“We are very fortunate because we have already done our assessment of the resource; the exploration in the early days as you recall, and we have proven that we have sufficient quality and quantity of the resource to make [a] commercially viable project, so we have the potential to generate over 120 megawatts of electricity in the Roseau Valley,” Ambassador Henderson stated. “And to put that in context, DOMLEC only has about 26 megawatts of generation capacity between hydro and diesel, so we can provide DOMLEC with five (5) times what they need.”

Dr. Henderson is of the view that Dominica, having invested about $25 million to-date in the project,  has done “pretty well” in the exploration, and is confident that country has the country has the resources to achieve its goal with regard to the geothermal project.

“We have put in about US$5 million for the acquisition of lands, for the operations of the geothermal company and we would expect the rest of the funds for the actual project will come from our partners who would be bringing in about $25 million in equity, that is their own money and the balance of the funds we will get from lenders such as, the World Bank,” he said. “We will use the grants from the United Kingdom, funds that we have been able to secure, state’s trust fund, so that is about $12 million in grants and then we have already been in discussion with the Caribbean Development Bank  and the Inter American Development Bank.”

The quest by the current administration to tap Dominica’s geothermal energy potential started as far back as 2011 when the government signed a contract 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. Then, it committed to investing US$15M into the geothermal company with funds from the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CBI).

In September 2016, Dominica and New Zealand signed an EC$4-million Partnership Agreement to support the construction of a 7 MW geothermal power plant on the island.

In 2019, the then Minister for Energy Ian Douglas gave the public the assurance that the government had all the funding required for the construction of the long-awaited geothermal energy plant in the Roseau Valley.

Douglas said the concept design for the geothermal plant had been completed including the revised route for the re-injection pipeline from Laudat to Wotten Waven and Trafalgar, and lands had also been identified for the project and the ministry of lands was working on acquiring that land from the owners.

The government has reportedly spent over $50-million exploring the island’s geothermal potential but there had been complaints in some quarters that the project had been placed on the back burner.

Now, with Dr. Henderson’s recent expression of confidence that government can deliver a geothermal plant by 2022, it would appear completion of the Roseau Valley Geothermal Project is getting closer to becoming a reality.

It is the government’s hope to make Dominica the world’s first climate resilient country with a cheaper, cleaner, more reliable source of energy.

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14 Comments

  1. Thinking Aloud
    February 28, 2021

    We have the potential to be a world beating tourist destination?We all have potential to be resilient first in the world etc.
    But,the band played believe them if you like for the umpteenth time.

  2. VereTere
    February 28, 2021

    Another project, that ruthlessly shows the incompetence of this regime and exposes even more lies and deceit. A huge amount of money has gone again and the Dominican taxpayer has nothing to show for it. Only a country like DA can afford to keep a PM like Skerrit in office for years on end.

  3. Toto
    February 27, 2021

    Yeah, yeah, yeah a man in Washington in charge of our thermal company in Dominica. Better put him in charge of thermal underwear. That more practical and profitable. Close to $100 million we spent already and only a smelly hole we having. Yeah,yeah,yeah.

  4. Bring back the kidnapped parrots
    February 26, 2021

    They have been blowing steam for over 20 years and still no electricity. When are they going to install the turbines with generators. The excess electricity can be sold to neighboring islands.

    • Anson D. Pantz
      March 1, 2021

      How do you sell electricity to other islands if you can’t transmit it to them? Or if they can’t pay for it – in advance to build the infrastructure?

  5. LANGSAL
    February 26, 2021

    After all there years, do you think we need to hear anything about geotherma from those engine…

  6. Ibo France
    February 26, 2021

    Every blatant or subtle lie, every false promise, every half truth, every distortion that is propagated on Mr. Skerrit’s Sunday evening propaganda show, if you happen to miss It, for whatever reason, rest assured that it’s going to be faithfully disseminated on DNO. If this is not collusion then what is?

    A male citizen died recently after being in police custody for less than twenty four hours No explanation to the public from the relevant authorities. No follow-up by DNO and other news media outlets

    DBS sent out a ludicrous apology after violating the COVID-19 protocols recently. No word from DNO.

    A Minister of Government was forced to apologize to Clear Waters, not a murmur from DNO.

    Don’t you see why many ‘journalists’ (stenographers) and the news media in Dominica are treated with suspicion and disdain?

    I doubt this comment will be published for we live in a post factual world. Tell the truth then run.

  7. Geothermal
    February 26, 2021

    Now the Passport selling is becoming a challenge, this government is back on its Geothermal project, trying to find legitimate ways to bring in the held CBI monies.

  8. Anson D. Pantz
    February 26, 2021

    And how does it get transmitted ot stored and shipped to where needed?

    • Mancuson
      March 2, 2021

      Skerrit will put it in his diplomatic luggage and fly it to the UAE. They will start thinking what to do with the over capacity ‘nearer’ the time.

  9. laro
    February 26, 2021

    Wait, Vince can you please remind us of your engineering qualifications again besides attending a couple seminars in resort hotels far away from St. Jo on the subject? I am sorry this is the right message but the wrong messenger and this makes a joke of all of us. Something is wrong with Dominica, you’all.

  10. L C Matthew
    February 26, 2021

    Dominica has potential to be the health food basket of the Caribbean.
    Dominica has potential to be the nature destination of the world.
    Dominica has potential to be the whale watching destination of the Caribbean.
    Dominica has potential to lead the Caribbean in resilient engineering and construction.
    Dominica has the potential to be a raw material processing country.
    Dominica has potential to be self sufficient and independent.
    Dominica has potential to provide its citizens a liveable living so they do not have to beg and can build thier own homes and aquire property to pass on to thier kids and grand kids.
    Dominica has the potential to be the beacon of democracy in the region.

    • RhondaB
      March 1, 2021

      The key word here is: POTENTIAL. As long as Skerrit is PM, that’s all it will ever be.

  11. derp
    February 26, 2021

    if that’s true why have Domlec, you might as well give people free electricity, but no you all going to be selling electricity to Domlec smh

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