By the Caribbean Journal staff
The European Investment Bank has agreed to provide a 1.1 million Euro grant to enhance planning and study the feasibility of exporting geothermal electricity from Dominica to Martinique and Guadeloupe.
The bank, which is the European Union’s long-term lending institution, will look at possible links from Dominica to Guadeloupe to the north and from Dominica to Martinique in the south.
“Ensuring the most effective use of geothermal energy as a sustainable source of electricity generation offers immense potential for transforming energy use and economic growth in the Caribbean,” said Plutarchos Sakellaris, European Investment Bank Vice President. “The European Investment Bank is pleased to contribute to overcoming specific technical and engineering challenges essential to lowering the energy costs in Dominica and to significantly increase electricity generation from renewable energy sources in the East Caribbean.”
Dominican Public Works, Energy and Ports Minister Rayburn Blackmore said having the EIB on board was “very instrumental” in giving the country’s geothermal programme exposure to “attract the best in geothermal business.”
The EU contribution will help a project that could generate up to 120 megawatts for export and 200 megawatts domestically.
Currently, the government of Dominica, supported by the European Union and the Agence Francaise de Developpement is drilling three test wells in Laudat and Wolten-Waven to determine the potential of geothermal in the country’s Roseau Valley and plans to build a 5 megawatt test plant.