Energy Minister gives update on geothermal project

A geothermal production well in the Roseau Valley
A geothermal production well in the Roseau Valley

The Hon Minister for Energy, Ian Douglas has assured that the geothermal project has not been abandoned but is still on course.

GIS News caught up with Hon. Douglas on Monday, December 11th and asked about the progress of the project.

The Energy Minister revealed that the shifting of Government’s priority to finding housing for those displaced by Tropical Storm Erika has delayed the next phase.

The project has gone through the phase of exploration and testing. The next phase involves the generation of electricity from a small plant for local consumption.

The Minister assured that the storm has not in any way affected the project’s infrastructure which is currently undergoing routine maintenance.

“The well heads are intact. We continue our basic maintenance to prevent rusting and deterioration. We are in a different phase right now. We concluded the discovery and testing phases and we are moving into the generation stage: what type of plant do we need, what types of turbines do we need to install, how much power can we actually put onto the grid?

The whole issue of the national grid- the high tension lines which you see running around Dominica- we have to upgrade it to be able to conduct geothermal energy. Right now we have fossil fuel energy in our homes and the geothermal will require an upgrade of the national grid.”

Another issue to be settled is the finalisation of contracts with DOMLEC which will be responsible distributing the energy generated from the geothermal project.

Hon Douglas says arrangements have to be made to ensure that electricity will be sold at an affordable rate to consumers.

He says another matter to be considered is the financing of the generation phase.

“The Government of Dominica has actually invested in the region of US $80m in the exploration of geothermal energy and now we have to go into the generation. It’s not that the project has stopped-we are working behind the scenes.

“As you know we had to work on the Geothermal Bill because there needs to be a law in place to govern the industry. We have just finished and thank God we are on the heels of COP21 and the world recognises the impact and implications of climate change and have really decided to put some serious money behind that.

“We are doing geothermal development at a time when the world is really recognizing the importance of clean, renewable sources of energy.”

As to when this next phase will finally come on stream, the Minister could not give a definite date but assured that the project will not be abandoned.

Hon. Douglas sees Dominica as a leader in renewable energy in the region, particularly geothermal energy.

He says Dominica has become instrumental in assisting other Caribbean countries in their endeavours to make the same move.

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27 Comments

  1. Me
    December 18, 2015

    All the government have to show for their chemothermal efforts is an expensive hole that emits fumes from hell, A $80 million hole to be exact.

  2. udohreadyet
    December 17, 2015

    the comments are so small minded and petty. the focus seems to be on people and not based on discussion of the topic of renewable energy. Its seems like there are fools that just obsessed with opposing those trying to get things done. what have you done lately?

    • Not a herd follower
      December 18, 2015

      You are not taking the matter into context. The people of Dominica have been promised geothermal energy, which the government says will be cheaper than fossil fuel, and every time the government keeps shifting the timelines. Now, Ian Douglas says he does not know what’s next for the project.

      • Face the Facts
        December 19, 2015

        Think of how long ago TS Erika struck Dominica and the damage it caused. Do you not think this resulted in a set back for it and other projects? Some of you do not think. You lack understanding.

  3. kay
    December 17, 2015

    So reading all of this and getting nothing out of it. The Minister is obviously not an engineer and does not seem to be able to articulate what is required by a public who is more knowledgeable than he is (no offense to those quick to defend). The fact still remains that Dominica has one of the highest electricity rates in the world, not just the caribbean. Things may be better now but they are far from where they need to be. The minister just put Domlec on the spot by saying the national grid is substandard. It is not like the power coming from geothermal is blue, while fossil fuel black and hydro green.
    We need to ask why is it that Dominica, one of the few countries to have renewable energy sources to compliment diesel, and one which has such a relatively small demand, has such high rates? Fly over the caribbean at night and Dominica is least lit. google map it at night. http://grenlec.com/Portals/0/Small%20Island%20Electricity%20Sector%20Comparison%20-%20OP%20ED%20March%202015

  4. Man 4 Them
    December 17, 2015

    Oh Boy.. This is so sad.This project means so much to Dominica and Dominicans. Its abandoned sad sad sad

  5. Nature Lover
    December 17, 2015

    Allu bloggers still doh get it?………clear as day….. “Energy Minister gives up 8-O DATE on geothermal project”… :lol: :lol: :lol: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    • Not a herd follower
      December 18, 2015

      An update which is no update since the minister confesses he does not know what’s next for the geothermal project.

  6. REAL!!!!
    December 17, 2015

    So now they get he news from Venezuela concerning reviewing the agreement for Petro Caribe ,,,,all of sudden Geothermal is Back.

    There is nothing there don’t try and fool the people. This is not economical the French has pulled out… it is been abandon.

    The Baroness is right , Dominicans going to suck more salt!!!!!!

    Thanks to Roosevelt

    • Joe
      December 17, 2015

      Real who is the they? my Real question is if venezuela decision negatively impacts Dominica….. Meaning ALL OF US WHO RESIDES ON THIS ISLAND WILL BE NEGATIVELY AFFECTED who is the they you think will suffer????

      I will pray for you and hope Christ can relief you of your ignorance and hate for THEY!!!!!!!

    • udohreadyet
      December 17, 2015

      why o why are you people so stupid?

  7. Bwa Bande
    December 17, 2015

    Mr. Minister – There should be not uncertainties when reporting on a project of this magnitude. A plan should have already been in place, furthermore, work should be in progress on the next phase already, funds should have already been allocated, sources of finance should just be waiting to pump cash to start the next phase. Are you all serious about this project? If the plant was not affected by Erica, then she should have nothing to do with it’s delay. Why is there even mention of abandonment of this project? If you ask me, you all should have taken a page from Rosalie Bay and explored wind energy rather than venture into an area where generation of this energy comes at a very high cost. Hope we can hear some positive news soon. And please finish one project before starting another.

    • udohreadyet
      December 17, 2015

      apparently kamem you bande for ministers. The article is about geothermal energy… not ministers.

      • Me
        December 18, 2015

        In that case why do we have a Minister address this project instead of an expert?

  8. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    December 17, 2015

    The Hon Minister for Energy, Ian Douglas has assured that the geothermal project has not been \”abandoned but is still on course.\”(Ian Douglas).

    Boy Ian, you need to shut up; that piece of crap, is going to go past where it is right now! You and all your colleges will pass on (die) before it moves one inch from what we are seeing here. I never say any construction of a geothermal plant spewing so much smoke as that crap! We are not talking about steam here, it appears as if you have some green wood, and bush burning making smoke to make your gullible supporters believe they have geothermal plant in progress.

    The Arab Spring will cause that to stop dead in its track the same as the Moroccan Hotel in Portsmouth. And the reason the Moroccan cannot get complete, is because somebody already thief the money that was supposed to complete it!

  9. Not a herd follower
    December 17, 2015

    ”As to when this next phase will finally come on stream, the Minister could not give a definite date but assured that the project will not be abandoned.” Coming form Ian, I am not surprised.

  10. Malgraysa
    December 17, 2015

    With respect Minister Douglas , you appear to be fibbing. On 15 May of this year GIS issued a release in which Prime Minister Skerrit was quoted as follows:
    -“The geothermal bill has been approved” – so why , seven months later you are saying that we have just finished?
    – “Cabinet has decided to contract a U.S.$.50 million loan through the World Bank to finalize the project!” – as far as I know no such loan has been forthcoming to date and it would be appreciated if you could tell the public what the status is of that loan application? Was it ever approved by the World Bank?

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      December 17, 2015

      \”so why , seven months later you are saying that we have just finished?\”

      Want to know why? ; he is the one who said more than twenty years ago when the UWP was building an International Airport, that it was too expensive; what Dominica need is a soft loan with no interest; and besides the labor party can build an International Airport for a fraction of what Edison James was spending.

      So, they won the election, and they closed down the project, and chase the Trinidad contractors, and engineers who were in Dominica to build the Airport.

      Be reminded that the International Airport the UWP was building cost a little over three hundred million dollars; the labor said it was too expensive, however, king Mountain Chicken Crapoo Mentality Skerrit spent more than half a billion dollars installing landing lights and digging up the river bank, to get Douglas-Charles pink Elephant.

      I challenge Skerrit, Ian Douglas or any member of the cabal to deny…

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        December 17, 2015

        I challenge Skerrit, Ian Douglas or any member of the cabal to deny what I wrote here, and prove me to be a liar: Elizabeth, Skerrit is a liar, Ian is a liar too, now don\’t bother to E-mail me to say God bless Skerrit oui!

  11. Jake
    December 17, 2015

    Why isn’t Ian making mention of the investors that has abandoned the project????? Lies and more lies from these gov’t

  12. Zandoli
    December 17, 2015

    Am I the only one read this and came away thinking: What did he say?

    This just seem to be a lot of mumbo jumbo.

    • Lang Mama
      December 18, 2015

      Why have you no sympathy and consideration to declare that Ian is disconnected. Hello hello everyday is lie a holiday for some people you know.Some people drink everyday to you know. Some people work behind the “SIN” ( Sooolar Intoxication Network).

  13. Tjebe Fort
    December 17, 2015

    You combining Ian Douglas with energy?? Just thinking of that makes me laugh. Merry christmas Ian, I wish you many geothermals garcon.

    • Not a herd follower
      December 18, 2015

      Hahhahahahahahaha!

  14. Titiwi
    December 17, 2015

    Lets be serious. What Hon. Douglas is saying is that our geothermal project is at an impasse.
    He cites tropical storm Erika as an excuse for the delay but in the same breath says that the storm has not impacted the site or the installation. There is no financing in place for further development at present, the minister says so himself, and the govt. is putting its hopes on a bailout from developed countries following the recent Paris conference. I can not believe that agreements for distribution would not have been hammered out with Domlec before proceeding with drilling even began because that does not make sense. However, with oil currently below U.$.$ 40 barrel our geothermal energy would simply be too expensive at present and commercially not viable. I’m afraid the Minister’s report is no more than a seasonal fairy tale, to make the gullible feel good. I wouldn’t even put that in my christmas stocking.

    • lightbulb
      December 18, 2015

      He knows how to speak on his feet, and give that to him.
      But I highly doubt it that the Icelandic people with their practical knowledge, failed to give the government an estimate of how much power can be produced with what turbines. They would have also provided a preliminary report listing what are the expected costs.

      The government thought they could sell energy to the neighboring french islands, but may that is no longer viable.

  15. December 17, 2015

    I don’t believe you Mr. Minister is just an excuse this project is abandone, You guys wasted millions of dollars, Dominica has received enough assistance to help the homeless victims from Tropical Storm Erika, You guys have invested millions of dollars on this project you guys gonna used Erika all alone to cover your bad behaviors this is really bad leadership from this administration, Its Shamefull

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