The preparatory phase of a project for the renewable geothermal energy to replace fossil fuels for electricity generation in the Caribbean will be funded by the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The amount of electricity can be produced from geothermal resources and the feasibility of interconnection with other islands will be evaluated under the technical assistance program to be launched soon.
The grant assistance of 1.1 million Euros granted by the EIB will finance the establishment of an implementation plan and a detailed study on the feasibility of exporting electricity from geothermal energy in Dominica to the neighboring islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe.
Geothermal energy can generate electricity through water heated to high temperature by the energy generated in the soil surface. The study, financed by the EIB aims to assess the feasibility of an undersea interconnection between Dominica and Guadeloupe to the north, and a second link with Martinique to the south. Once this feasibility is confirmed, further studies will be conducted to define the characteristics of submarine cables and assess the environmental impacts of these links.
“Optimizing the use of geothermal energy as a sustainable source of electricity generation will release an enormous potential for transforming the energy use and economic growth in the Caribbean. The European Investment Bank is pleased to contribute to the development of technical and engineering solutions essential to lower the cost of energy in Dominica and to substantially increase electricity production from renewable energy renewable in the Eastern Caribbean,” said Plutarchos Sakellaris, EIB Vice-President.
“The launch of this phase of the project is in line with the EU objective that is to make renewable energy a priority in view of achieving the Millennium Development Goals, especially on mitigation and eradication of poverty,” said Valeriano Diaz, the head of delegation of the European Union for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.
This project is likely to lead to the development of the first geothermal power plant of 20 MW which will produce for the local market, then a second, which could produce up to 120 MW of electricity for the export.
Currently, the authorities of Dominica, supported by the European Union and the French Development Agency, are to conduct three exploratory wells in Laudat and Wotten-Waven to determine the potential of geothermal resources in Roseau Valley. They are also planning to build a test plant of 5 MW. The exploration results provide additional insight into the extent and quality of exploitable geothermal resources. These data and conclusions of the feasibility studies of interconnections financed by the EIB will be used to define the most effective strategy.
This project will enable Dominica and neighboring islands to have a clean, sustainable energy, “they may indeed respond to the demand for electricity using a renewable energy source rather than primarily fossil. The project will represent an important source of income for Dominica. It will reduce its heavy expenses in foreign currency-induced imports of diesel and significantly reduce the energy bill supported by its people. If it proves successful, it could become a model for other small island developing states have geothermal potential. “