ROSEAU, Dominica -- Dominica has been recognized as being the lead among Caribbean countries in efforts at developing geothermal resources as an alternative to fossil fuels.
Dominica’s minister for public works, energy and ports, Rayburn Blackmore made reference to this when he addressed an energy forum on Monday.
Blackmore, who represented Dominica at the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum in Aruba last week, said Dominica was ranked in the number one position among CARICOM member states for diversifying its energy resources to renewable.
“We had a ranking of member states within the CARICOM catchment and Dominica was ranked number one as having a clear road map to diversifying its energy resources, in Dominica’s case geothermal,” he said.
“At that forum investors and stakeholders were presented with a clear view of the plan of the government to develop the geothermal sector. At the end of the day all the member states’ programmes and initiatives were looked at and Dominica was ranked number one because it was felt that the government of Dominica has been able to lead the way in providing a clear road map for the short term, medium and long term development of that sector.”
“What they are saying is that Dominica has presented a case that can be used a reference point for other countries to follow,” the minister explained.
In 2003 and again in 2008, the government of Dominica commissioned studies in the Roseau Valley catchment area to ascertain the presence of geothermal energy resources.
Those studies, according to the energy minister, “confirmed that the potential for geothermal development was great”.
Based on those findings, Blackmoore said government is moving full steam ahead with its geothermal energy development project.
He said environmental impact assessment (EIA) studies for the drilling of a production well in Laudat and a re-injection well in Trafallgar have been done.
“The EIA for the two full sized wells have been done. I have been advised there is a draft report to that effect so we have been able to execute that plan by way of precision, observing all the best practices that needs to be observed internationally and for that I am very glad,” he noted.
He said further that actual drilling of those wells will commence at the end of October.
“The Icelandic company who will be doing the drilling has arrived in Dominica and towards the end of this month we will see the actual start of the drilling of the production wells,” he said.
The minister says the construction of a 15 megawatt power plant in the Roseau Valley is expected to bring about a reduction in the price of electricity.
“We believe that in the first instance once we can get to the 15 megawatt power plant we will see a reduction of 15-40% in the light bills of consumers and it will be much easier for businesses to really operate in Dominica and at the same time we will be pursuing our long-term goal to constructing a bigger plant of a 120 megawatts.
The government of Dominica has secured $31 million through grant funding in addition to 6.5 million Euros from the French government for the drilling of the two wells.
Republished with permission of CBN4News