Nevis’ long-dormant geothermal energy plans have new life.
A consortium called Nevis Renewable Energy International has signed a power purchase agreement with the Nevis Electricity Company to develop geothermal on the island.
The deal provides for 25 years of a domestic base-load renewable energy supply, according to the Nevis Island Administration.
Given the amount of energy estimated to exist in Nevis, it’s thought that the island could one day actually export energy to nearby islands like St Kitts, Antigua and others.
Indeed, the NIA said the island could eventually export between 40 and 50 megawatts of energy to neighboring islands.
“The Nevis Geothermal Project will create increased economic growth, reduced power costs, increase employment and create new economic opportunities for local businesses,” said Deputy Premier Mark Brantley. “This is an important step to enhancing the leadership of Nevis in the transformational impacts of the new, post-fossil fuel world economy.”
The project is expected to begin operation as early as late 2017.
When completed, it could represent a 180-degree-shift from 100 percent power generation from diesel generators to 100 percent green energy on the island.
“In terms of what this means for us, Nevis as of 2018 will become the greenest island on planet earth, really,” said Maclevan Tross, Chairman of the NEVLEC Board of Directors. “Geothermal would bring down the cost of electricity on the island. It would be able to, within our cost of electricity, attract investors and promote businesses on Nevis. It’s a win, win situation for us.”
“This project not only has the potential to provide sustainable renewable power to the entire country, but also may lead to the first inter-island electrical interconnection in the Caribbean,” the US State Department said in a statement.
The Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources has been providing technical assistance to the Nevis Island Administration and the Nevis Electricity Company on the deal.
The US has been pushing green energy in the Caribbean through its recently-launched Caribbean Energy Security Initiative.