Caribbean Nevis with geothermal potential of 900 MW, needing only 9 MW
Nevis has the potential to produce 900 megawatts of electricity, which is perhaps much more than Nevis will ever need. Currently, the island only consumes 9 megawatts of power.
Reported locally, “The tiny Island of Nevis is on the verge of becoming the “greenest” island in the Caribbean as it sits on the threshold of harnessing geothermal energy not only for its own needs but also for the neighboring islands in the Eastern Caribbean.”
In a recent interview with Nevis’ Junior Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Carlisle Powell, he disclosed that studies were done ten years ago by the US Energy Department and the Organization of American States (OAS) that indicated that Nevis has the potential to produce 900 megawatts of electricity, which is perhaps much more than Nevis will ever need. Currently, the island only consumes 9 megawatts of power.
This geothermal project will create power through the drilling of three geothermal wells and the installation of steam turbine power units thereby reducing greenhouse gas emission and contributing to the efforts of damaging climate changes.
Powell, who is also responsible for public utilities, confidentially predicted that the production of geothermal energy in Nevis will begin in 2010 and estimated that it will cost about US$50 million to bring the project on line. When the geothermal plant is fully up and running, Nevis is expected to produce 35 megawatts of electricity.
The 36-square-mile island, which forms part of the Twin-Island Federation of St.Kitts and Nevis, does not have the financial and technical resources to undertake this ambitious project and subsequently has reached out to regional and international agencies and institutions for assistance.
These include the United Nations Development Program, the Caribbean Community and the University of the West Indies and the University of New Zealand.
The Environment Minister Carlisle Powell said, “Nevis has also sought advice from developed countries that already produce geothermal energy and have the expertise and experience in this rapidly growing industry as the world seeks cheaper and more sustainable forms of energy.”
According to Minister Powell, Iceland that produces about 15 percent of its electricity from geothermal sources has been instrumental in providing assistance and technical expertise to the tourism dependent Island.
Powell said that successful negotiations between the Nevis Island Administration and West Indies Power (Nevis) Ltd (WIP), an energy development company on Nevis, have established clear-cut agreements that would govern the island’s geothermal resources in the best interest of Nevisians.
WIP is a private company that has the drilling rights for exploring and producing geothermal energy on Nevis. It also recently signed an agreement with Carbon Resource Management, a Geneva-based company, for consultancy and assistance with the certification of its 35 MW geothermal plant in Nevis, under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which was established and defined under the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
On a practical and economic level, the production of geothermal energy is expected to bring tremendous benefits to the picturesque Island that has a population of about ten thousand.”
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