Dominca Officials Visit Geothermal Site
May 05, 2009
Dominica’s Minister of Energy Hon. Charles Savarin said Thursday that his island’s government was in support of the geothermal project on Nevis.
Mr. Savarin who was accompanied by his Chief Technical Officer in the Ministry of Public Utilities, Energy and Ports Mr. Lucien Blackmoore, was at the time on a one day fact finding mission on Nevis with geothermal developers West Indies Power Nevis Ltd.
During a visit to the borehole Nevis 3 at Hamilton Estate, Mr. Savarin told the Department of Information, that his island had also embarked on geothermal explorations and it was vital that he observed the operations on Nevis.
He said it was important for the region to share information one with the other, as to how they proceeded to deal with the important question of energy in particular renewable energy.
Mr. Savarin said his island also planned to sell geothermal electricity to neighbouring islands.
“Like Nevis we are looking not just at the potential for national consumption but also to be able to generate sufficient energy to be able to sell electricity to the neighbouring islands in the case of Dominica to Martinique and GuadelouopeÃ¢â‚¬¦
“The whole question of interconnection between different islands, submarine cables for the transmission of electricity; the whole question of supplying electricity to the national grid and the arrangements under which these can be undertaken,” he said.
Mr. Savarin further explained that in the case of Dominica the dominant electricity provider was privately owned DOMLEC but in the case of Nevis it was government. So there were certain differences but there were also commonalities and what was done in Nevis was of interest to Dominica and vice versa.
The Dominica Government Minister described the visit to the geothermal site in Hamilton as extremely exciting.
“We have seen a test well with actual production producing steam and hot water, therefore demonstrates effectively beyond just the pure science that in fact there is a reservoir, that there is the potential to generate electricity and that they are already here to move to the next stage beyond the test well into production.
“That is very interesting. We are also interested in the timetables and to see how the experience in Nevis can help with the experience in Dominica,” he said.
Meantime, the Dominica Energy Minister said too, that the Power Purchase Agreement which was recently signed between the Nevis Electricity Company Ltd. and geothermal developers West Indies Power Nevis Ltd. was also of interest to his government.
“It is a matter of interest that there is a power purchase Agreement and West Indies Power as an independent power provider sets lessons for us. Our own Electricity Supply Act makes provisions for Power Purchase Agreements and for independent power providers but we do not as yet have such an agreement in place.
“Since the dominant power company in Dominica is not government owned unlike Nevis it is privately owned, it would mean that the negations would take place between West Indies Power and DOMLEC. The independent Regulatory Commission would have a role to play to ensure that the public interest is protected at all times,” he said.