November 14, 2007
Nevis has taken steps to pursue another source of renewable energy in its efforts to remove an existing fuel surcharge. Junior Minister in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) charged with Public Utilities Hon. Carlisle Powell, disclosed at a sitting of the Nevis Island Assembly on Wednesday November 14, 2007, that the Administration had been in discussions with a Canadian based company, which wanted to provide the island with an initial 1MW of power through wind harnessed energy.
He said that Nevis, like other Caribbean islands had been blessed with good winds, a resource which had gone unutilised because of the region’s heavy dependence on oil.
“We in this Government have also been in discussions with a firm named WINDWATT Power who is interested in providing us with an initial amount of 1MW of power through the harnessing of one of our truly neglected resources, wind. I want to remind the country that quite a bit of work was done by the Organisation of American Sates (OAS), the Germans among others and the potential is clearly evident on Nevis. During the course of this week, I hope to further the discussions with the principals of the company.“There is a Caribbean project involving three islands Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Vincent that is seeking to combine resources to make a bulk purchase of wind turbines to provide electrical power. This will increase the existing Wind Farms in Jamaica, Guadeloupe, Aruba and Curacao among others. I am hoping that we hare will open our arms to sources of renewable energy and make us of God’s gifts to us,” he said.
Mr. Powell noted that the Administration had been encouraged to get involved in wind generated energy through the many offers of technical assistance that it had received through the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) through the Caribbean Renewable Energy Development Programme (CREP), Germany through Deutsche Gesellschaft fÃ¼r Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
The Minister said it was clear that the production of power from wind was the fastest growing sector in renewable energy and the technology was very advanced in Europe and North America. He explained that most of the companies which produced wind turbines had firm orders for delivery up to 2010 and one of the industry leaders, ENERCON of Germany, had developed a new 6MW turbine that would enter production shortly.
Meantime, the Minister during his update on a number of projects which he said were of importance to all nationals, residents and visitors alike, also addressed the ongoing exploratory work for geothermal energy on Nevis by West Indies Power Nevis Limited.
He said a significant amount of work had been done and scientific work which included by a team from Duke University had resulted in the identification of five sites for exploratory drilling.
“In this regard, a drill rig was scheduled to leave the United States of America earlier this week so that drilling can commence shortly after arrival,” he said.
Mr. Powell explained that considering the rising prices in oil on the World Market, it was of extreme importance for Nevis to explore alternative sources of energy which would reduce the island’s dependence on oil and thereby eliminate the fuel surcharge.
“West Indies Power has indicated that once successful in this phase of their operations, they will move expeditiously to establishing production wells so that they can provide electricity to the Nevis Electricity Company (NEVLEC) and the people of Nevis,” he said.