Minister of Public Works Rayburn Blackmoore has reported that Dominica has been deemed the most advanced as far as geothermal energy is concerned at the Caribbean Renewable Energy Conference which recently concluded in Barbados.
The conference brought together a number of stakeholders and financiers from a host of international agencies and organizations and Dominica was one of the small island states where renewable energy projects being undertaken seemed the most viable.
Blackmoore said, “We were given the opportunity to give an update of our respective projects. Of course, Dominica seemed to be the most advanced where the prospect of geothermal energy is concerned. [The Government] believes that the greatest legacy we can leave for the people of Dominica is one of energy independence and geothermal offers a cleaner, cheaper and more reliable source of energy for us. We believe that once we get it right, that can be a new contributor to our Gross National Product.”
He said that the development of the access to site two of the geothermal exploration project is well underway and site one is almost ready for the tendering process, with drilling expected to begin soon.
“Earlier this year, we signed a contract with two Icelandic companies, one for the drilling component of the test wells and another for the actual testing. We’re hoping to see the commencement of the drilling of the test wells in December of this year and completion in April 2012. We have also entered into a contractual arrangement with the Geothermal Resource Group for the actual supervision of the drilling.”
The Government has also secured grant funding for the technical study of connecting the proposed plant in Dominica to the neighboring French Isles as another component of the project.
“The intention, in terms of our long term goal as far as this project is concerned, is to build a 120 mega-watt power plant with the potential of selling to the French departments of Martinique and Guadelope and that has to be done via sub-marine cables. We have secured grant funding from the European Investment Bank, to the tune of 0.5 million Euros, for the actual technical study for the interconnection,” he said.