Above: the Soufriere volcano in St Lucia (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
St Lucia’s government said this week that geothermal exploration would begin on the island next year.
According to Minister for Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology Dr James Fletcher, the island is feeling optimistic about the prospects for geothermal energy.
“It all depends on what the exploration finds, but we believe that we can get as much as 30 megawatts, which is about 50 percent of our demand right now,” he said. “We are looking at anywhere between a 15 and 30 megawatt plant for Soufriere.”
The government has reached an “advanced stage” in its talks with the US-based geothermal company, Ormat Technologies.
“We are very happy to be partnering with them,” Fletcher said. “Now we have a geothermal development agreement and have made significant progress between the developer and LUCELEC on the power purchase agreement. We have also been able to secure financing from the World Bank, SIDS DOCK and the Government of New Zealand.”
Surface exploration will begin in early 2015, according to Fletcher.