Above: geothermal work in the Roseau Valley
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The government of Dominica says it has moved into the “development phase” of its geothermal project in the Roseau Valley.
That will enable the fueling of a potential 20-megawatt power station, according to the government.
Drilling work has already begun on a “reinjection” well in Trafalgar, which will be complemented by a production well in Laudat, Energy Minister Rayburn Blackmoore said last week.
“We are now moving to a very important aspect of that project, that is to say the development aspect which involves the drilling of the Re injection well in Trafalgar and the drilling of the production well in Laudat,” he said. “We want to give the people of Dominica, especially the people of the Roseau Valley the assurance that the government will ensure that all the mitigating measures will be put in place to ensure that this phase is done properly.”
Dominica is currently self sufficient for about 40 percent of its electrical requirements, Blackmoore said.
“We recognize as a government that we must address the issue of high energy cost because the tariff on energy in Dominica is one of the highest in the region,” he said. “We cannot get Dominica to the next level with that reality. We have to address this problem head on and this is the first administration that hasbeen able to do that.”
The plan right now is for the country to have a small production plant by the year 2015, with the hopes of building a larger plant to eventually export energy to neighbouring Martinique and Guadeloupe.
The current electrical cost is 40 cents per kilowatt hour, according to the government. If realized, the geothermal project would mean a rate of about 18 to 20 cents per kilowatt hour.