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Caribbean St. Lucia new energy roadmap to include geothermal – at right price

St Lucia - view of the Pitons from Anse Chastenet (source: flickr/ heatheronhertravels creative commons)
Alexander Richter 7 Nov 2016

In a new energy roadmap the government of St. Lucia in the Caribbean formulates a future utilising local energy sources, that could include geothermal if a right power purchase price can be achieved.

In a release last week, the government of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean has issued a new energy roadmap revealing a sustainable, reliable, cost-effective, and equitable electricity future for Saint Lucia.

The study has been initiated and worked with the government and the St. Lucia Electric Services Ltd. (LUCELEC), with an independent analysis from the Rocky Mountain Institute-Carbon War Room (RMI-CWR), and Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI). The entitities produced a joint strategy that incorprates input from the public.

The findings reveal opportunities for new investments and ownership structures to benefit customers.

The strategy explores various energy resource options, including renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal with the overall goal to reduce costs of the electricity system.

The study looks in particular in a variety of possible models for the ownership of power projects, in particular with asets owned by independent power producers and the utility.

Different scenarios were explored and analysed with both technical findings and financial modelling.

The release also mentiones explicitely geothermal energy for St. Lucia and sees it as on possible economically optimal system, if the right power purchase agreement (PPA) price point can be achieved.

We reported previously on efforts to establish a geothermal power project in St. Lucia with ongoing negotiations on a PPA price.

The project is financially supported by the government of New Zealand and the Clinton Initiative.

It is expected that this phase of the Geothermal Development Project should be completed by the first quarter of 2017, with a view to commencing exploratory drilling in a new resource development area by 2018.

In 2014, the government reported having been in talks with Ormat on development of a geothermal power project.

As part of the roadmap released now, the government stresses the point of the opportunity and need to improve the cost-effectiveness of the electricity sector using the island’s local resources, with geothermal energy clearly providing a great base-load power generation option.

 

The results of the study will help the government to understand the price points at which investments and power purchase agreements (PPAs) should occur. The NETS also guides the development of legislation and a regulatory framework that can create new, previously unexplored opportunities, so local news.

Source: Caribbean News Now