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Dominica making headway on geothermal energy project
Published on March 13, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

ROSEAU, Dominica (GIS) -- Minister for Energy, Rayburn Blackmoore is satisfied with the progress made on the government’s mission to produce geothermal energy in Dominica.

Minister for Energy, Rayburn Blackmoore
In an interview on Monday, Blackmoore said that the government has successfully gone through the initial phases of the project and has now completed drilling of production wells.

The projected date of completion for this phase was March 3, 2014, and Blackmoore is particularly pleased that this phase was completed on March 1.

The next phase involves shutting down the wells for a 12-week period to monitor progress on the generation of heat.

“I have been so advised that to generate energy you need to have a minimum of 180 degrees Celsius; based on the reviews we have gotten thus far, it is above 235 degrees. I think that this is tremendous for us going forward,” Blackmoore said.

The energy minister is also pleased with the incident-free progress on the geothermal development project.

“We got to the depth of 1,506 metres and the initial results that we have seen based on the login that we’ve been able to monitor is that the results will be better than what we expected,” he said.

Talks about pursuing geothermal energy on the island have been around for several decades and the minister articulated the positive impact that harnessing this resource will have on Dominica’s economy.

“We have said to Dominican people that we want to first of all commission a small plant between 10 to 15 megawatts so that the people of Dominica can benefit from that resource,” he said.

Currently, the cost of energy in Dominica is EC$1.17 per kilowatt hour, which Blackmoore said is “one of the most expensive in the Caribbean and we cannot attract any serious business in Dominica with that reality.”

He added, “High energy costs impacts negatively on every household and the entire economy... as we unlock the secrets of geothermal development, that is where our prosperity lies and that’s where the element of change especially in the energy sector is going to be effective.”

It is anticipated that by 2015 a small 15 megawatt production plant will be constructed to supply energy for local consumption.
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