Contracts for geothermal drilling to be signed next week


The contract for the drilling of test wells in Roseau Valley will be signed here next week in the process toward geothermal energy development in Dominica.

An Iceland company, selected to carry out the tests in July, will arrive on island Sunday, April 3.

Government has said geothermal energy is the way Dominica should go if it is to satisfy its energy needs in the long-run.

Officials have said Dominica will maximize geothermal energy to provide sustainable jobs for the population.

“The long-term objective of this project is to construct a 120-megawatt power plant to sell via submarine cable to the departments of Martinique and Guadeloupe,” Energy Minister Rayburn Blackmoore said.

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  1. L
    April 4, 2011

    Dominica…. I don’t even know where to begin on this matter. First thing- why is Dominica considering such a costly project without first trying it out in the homeland. Providing Geothemal energy can be done in Dominica but why not do that and decrease the cost of energy then consider doing it on a larger scale. The price for electricity in Dominica is mind blowing compared to other countries around the world. Why must one pay 300-500 a month in electricity bill for a house?

    Second: There are Dominicans who are knowledgeable about Geothermal Energy but instead of investing in our fellow Dominicans to start up the project we would much rather give the project to outsiders

    Third: These kind of projects are to be advertised and companies are suppose to bid on government projects and then it should be awarded to the best based on the criteria….

    Fourth: Who is the minister of Energy and does he know enough about Geothermal Energy? enough to educate the public? or maybe the public is not interested

    Fifth: Is it public funding for this project?

  2. forkit
    April 3, 2011

    objective is to generate a 120megawatt plant to sell power to martinique.. we cannot even supply our own country with stable power (especially during the summertime) at an affordable price which will attract investors with larger projects. BUT WE WANT TO SELL.


    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      April 3, 2011

      You know I do not believe these people who are talking about selling electricity to Martinique knows what they are talking about.

      First of all they are talking about having a transmission line in what they term Submarine Cable in the ocean between Dominica, and which ever country or island they are talking about.

      If you understand anything that you read here; you will understand they based that idea on something they read on Siemens Website.

      The problem is that Siemens talked about ” HVDC ” ( High Voltage Direct Current) undersea. Mind you if we are dealing with with a Geothermal Electricity Generating plant we are talking about something to generate AC current (Alternating Current) wether we are talking about HAC, or any other.

      Here is my point, nowhere in the world do they supply DC, current, primary, or secondary for the use in industrial, and commercial or residential use. One of the reasons are that; AC current is used internationally, is because DC voltage, and current does not travel effectively at long distances.

      And even in the case of AC voltage and current, in order for it to travel effectively at long distances, a crease of booster Transformers are utilized in the process: in the history of power generation, and distribution, the only place they ever try to utilize a DC generation plant was in Canada, and they abandon the idea, and decided that AC was the future.

      If the plan is to transmit current to Martinique, since we do not know the technology exists to transmit AC via Submarine Cables, they have to use Siemens theory, which deals with DC current to this point.

      So what our Dominica genus will have to do is either build a plant that will generate DC current only, which will be of no use in Dominica, unless they convert this DC to AC, and even if they succeed to transmit all DC to the other place on earth, when it gets to that place, they will have to convert it back to AC, so that it could be utilized into distribution for domestic, industrial, and commercial use.

      Talk is cheap, and most of the time people such as Blackmoore are fed gullible information, which they repeat, only to make Dominica a laughing joke in the world.

      Another thing one need to remember Dominica sits in the Atlantic ocean, our waters are very deep, our seas are the roughest in the world, at what depth are these cables going lay, and if there is a problem in the ocean, such as the capsule in the transmission lines run.

      Once again Water is a conductor of Electricity, if we do not have the money to construct an international Airport, the tab for running this dream Submarine line and maintenance of it will exceed the cost of an international airport every time!

      Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

  3. The truth
    April 3, 2011

    For the people wanting research. Google is easy to use n wikipedia is reliable. So here is a spoonfeed:

  4. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    April 2, 2011

    “ The Dominica Government has said geothermal energy is the way to go if it is to satisfy its energy needs in the long-term.” (DNO).

    There are those of us who may agree with the concept, however, is geothermal energy our alternative?

    After one reads my comments here we will find that there may be an alternative: I am concentrating on what in the energy world is known as Secondary Energy Sources such as Geothermal Energy.

    The interior of the Earth is extremely hot-so hot, in fact, that part a part of the core consists of molten iron.

    From a temperature of about twenty degrees centigrade at the surface of the Earth, there is an increase to about one (1000) degrees C, at a depth of only 40 km. Even for the relatively shallow penetration of mine shafts, the temperature increases are substantial and limit the depths at which miners can work.

    Molten rock, liquefied at extreme temperatures beneath the Earth’s crust, is forced to the surface through cracks and fissures, and is ejected in the form of lava from volcanoes.

    Hot water and steam are similarly released at the Earth’s surface from hot springs and geysers. It has been estimated that there are 700, 000,000 cubic kilometer of superheated water (at temperatures of approximately 200 degrees C) beneath the Earth’s surface.

    All of this heated material-rocks, steam, and water – represents an enormous reservoir of energy. As long ago as 1904, engineers in Larderello, Italy tapped the supply of geothermal energy by drilling special wells into the underground system supply.

    This natural steam drives electricity-producing turbines, and in the early days of the Larderello plant generated 390 MW of electric power.

    There are other geothermal systems in operation in New Zealand, the former Soviet Union, Japan,
    Iceland, Mexico, and Kenya. Here in California, there is supposed to be one operating ninety miles north of San Francisco at the Geysers where steam wells drive generators that supply approximately 500 MW of electrical power.

    Although at first glance they may seem to represent an ideal form of natural power, geothermal sources are far from being trouble-free, and without pollution; and to me that is bad news!

    Even the purest underground systems contains enough hydrogen sulfide (with its characteristic odor of rotten eggs) to be extremely unpleasant and enough minerals to poison fish, and other forms of marine life in streams and rivers into which the condensed steam is discharged.

    Furthermore, the removal of underground steam, and water causes the surface to subside.

    At the Wairakei plant in New Zealand, for example, the subsidence amounts to about i6 inches per year.

    This plant discharges 6.5 times as much heat, and 5.5 times as much water vapor into the environment as would a modern coal-fired plant with the same electric output. Some of the difficulties attending the utilization of geothermal power could be overcome if the condensed steam were pumped back underground, however, such measures were not yet in general use at the time when I studied physics in the modern world.

    Of even greater potential than underground steam, and heated water is the heat energy stored in subsurface rocks.

    Some of this energy could be recovered and used by pumping water into the region by means of deep wells. Upon being pumped back to the surface, the heated water could be utilized to drive electric generators in the same way that natural underground hot water is used.

    Although there is probably ten times as much energy that could be recovered from heated rocks than is available from natural steam and hot water, a potential of about 600,000 MW; no plants have yet been constructed to tap this energy source. Scientist has studied a two by five mile region near Marysville, Montana, where rock at 500 degrees C, lies only a mile below the surface.

    This relative small source has the potential of supplying 10% of the U. S. electricity needs for about thirty years.

    It is important to not that such source of energy is not indefinite.

    There are a sufficient number of potential geothermal sites in the world that with vigorous development could represent a significant energy resource. Geothermal energy will not, at least in the near future, replace the major energy source now been used.

    And idea that Dominica, will supply electrical power to some French islands close to Dominica, in my opinion is simply a mythical dream.

    Someone need to inform Blackmoor, our government that water is a conductor of electricity, and with all the talk of supplying current to Guadeloupe, and Martinique via submarine cable, I would like them to explain where in the world they know for a fact that somebody, some company is transmitting current through water, via their brand of submarine cable.

    I think Blackmore need to explain in detail, and I mean from an electrical engineering point of view how do we accomplish that; explain scientifiic terms so that someone such as I who is by profession, an electrical engineer/electronic engineer can understand.

    Historically, the utilization of the energy in the following water of rivers, streams by means of water wheelsprovided the first plentiful, and continous source of energy. Today, we no longer use water power directly, nonetheless, instead use the potential energy in water stored behind dams to generate electricity.

    In a modern hydroelectric plant, water is allowed to pass through conduits, and drive huge turbines whose rotating shafts are connected to electric generators that produce power for the users.

    I believe the development of hydroelectricity is more appropriate for a country like Dominica that is endowed with more than three hundred-sixty-five flowing rivers into the sea.

    Hydroelectricity is our nations calling!

    Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

  5. Observerr
    April 2, 2011

    Dominicans, dont get too excited about this renewable energy source, because it likely will NOT bring down the cost of electricity. Greed and inefficiency is making Dominica electricity one of the most expensive in the region. Look around the Caribbean, and even around the world, and you will see that Dominica is one of the countries in the world with the highest percentage of renewable energy (hydro) as part of its supply of energy. Yet we have very high cost of electricity. Maybe part of this has to do with economy of scale, but we need more information as to how this is going to reduce our electricity rate and make it easier on Dominicans and more favorable production cost for investors. This venture apart from being “green energy” should also come with some guarantee to lower rate. Otherwise it is just going to be another venture to slam Dominicans (and maybe neighboring islands) with high electricity. Capital investment cost in geothermal is very high, but let’s hope it does D/ca well anyway.

    • only
      April 2, 2011

      They might be able to afford it more if they weren’t building the palace.

  6. Global
    April 1, 2011

    “Geothermal energy is one resource that can be universally celebrated for its contribution to a cleaner, safer environment.”

    The following is a link which might educate some of us who need to know more on the pros and cons of Geothermal Energy:

  7. . Slave 10 th. Grandson
    April 1, 2011

    Well we just like to say things that sound nice ,and we play like we forget that every thing have a price.Too much empty promises, while the real needy left to beg,because there is no trickle down effects like the present projects.

  8. The truth
    April 1, 2011

    Ok, before we assume that risks are involved. We all have the Internet so read up on geothermal energy, and it’s pros n cons. Simple. I think this is great! Dca need to export! Export we shall. No matter if it’s labour freedom uwp or pappy! Y are we so negative all the time!? Honestly. Dca is very very volcanic. And to be honest, we are the most volcanic in this part of the world. If there are tremors n increasing numbers, then it could be related to countless things. Not to mention Dominica has a caldera and many smaller volcanoes which are long overdue for eruption

    • cat
      April 1, 2011

      come on- the facts state that there are risks involved, period. we need to weigh the pros and cons. And the environmental impact will be great, considering the size of the area. We cannot protect ourselves if the potential risks are not assessed and addressed. we need to look at both sides of the coin and be fully informed. That’s all I’m saying. What harm is there in identifying the risks and making the entire transaction transparent? Put it all on the table.

      • The truth
        April 3, 2011

        I never said there wasn’t risk. Every project on the planet has risks. I simply stated that we should research ourselves and make up our mind ourselves. Not to mention that the increase or so cLled increase in tremors could be related to alot of other things. That’s all. But what do you want us to do? Continue using gas to generate electricity? Risk in that is, oil prices increase and so does your bill. And oil prices are highly unlikely to stop increasing in these times. Not unless you live in Saudi Arabia.

        • The truth
          April 3, 2011

          Oh and thats what makes us so gullible in dca. We listen to the politicians and refuse to do research for ourselves. Come on and do your own research. Don’t let them give it to u.

  9. boyz2men
    April 1, 2011

    We want moore.

  10. 2 1/2 Men
    April 1, 2011

    Iceland has made tremendous development in Geo Thermal arena. It would be interesting to see what happens.

  11. worried dominican
    April 1, 2011

    wow i am very worried about our lovely nature island,lord protect us.look at what is happening around the world,mother nature is striking back gradually

    • EaSiLy
      April 1, 2011

      There’s no such thing as mother nature! God created the earth and just so that u know, He is masculine not feminine!
      so stop repeating cr*p!

      • oh rly
        April 2, 2011

        as far as i understand god is not human or animal so how can he have gender?

  12. what the hell are people thinking
    April 1, 2011

    no risks if its done properly and geothermal drilling cannot cause an earthquake

    • Cat
      April 1, 2011

      NO RISKS????? THEN LET’S GET THIS IN WRITING! :) I am 100% in support of clean energy and p rogress…but we need all the facts, pros and cons… full disclosure and transparency…
      no empty promises of ‘no risk’ …. and how much $$$ is involved???? who gets paid what?

    • bosslady
      April 1, 2011

      People who live in areas of production report that there is an increasing number of earthquakes in the area. Although they are low-level quakes no stronger than magnitude 4, they are damaging homes and foundations. There have been cases where earthquakes have caused damage to the geothermal plants and/or caused disruption in the geothermal heat source

  13. country man
    April 1, 2011

    What is the company name? Are they just doing the exploration or are they doing the full development? The process to awarding this contract has been keep very quiet! Has a full EIS been done? Has there been consultation with the communities in the valley and other interested stakeholders on the the full scope of the project and its possible environmental impact?

    The initiative is great but without proper process and transparency the results can be disastrous. I feel like things are being rushed here. One day it is the french doing the exploration the next day it is the icelandic.

    • Da to D Bone
      April 1, 2011

      i agree with you country man. Your questions are very pertinent as I do aplaud the efforts of this great project. This can make the nature Island big and it can also destroy us if due deligence not done properly.
      Country man , you seem to have valuable knowledge on the topic, which can be helpful to such an intiative. I would like to know how many locals at the high level ( Like country man) would be hired in the long term.
      Would we see a drastic drop in our electricity bills? Hopefully, knowing that we are a volcanic Island, there wont be any associated risk, and will the EIS be made available to the public?

    • Natural Living
      April 2, 2011

      Country Man…. the question that must be asked is What happened to West Indies Power?
      THey were given a license to explore….what has happened after a few years of getting it???

    • Anonymous
      April 2, 2011

      As far as I know, the french are only funding the drilling works. The drilling works for this first well were tendered in August 2010 and several notices appeared in the Chronicle. I believe it is a matter of specilast with specific drilling equipment not found in the region. Iceland is well know for geothermal energy I am not completely surprized they have specialized companies in drilling that type of wells.

  14. Cat
    April 1, 2011

    How about the potential risks … like earthquakes…????

  15. anon
    April 1, 2011

    8-O WOW ….what’s the name of this company??? have the french agreed to this or is this plan still in the air?? Will this mean a significant decrease in the cost of my energy bill???? would the french consider picking up a percentage of the tab for this project considering that it may be beneficial to them as well

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