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St. Vincent & Grenadines geothermal projects exploring technical solution to low permeability

Drilling rig on site at La Soufriere, St. Vincent, Caribbean (source: Stv Online)
Alexander Richter 28 May 2020

With insufficient permeability of the wells drilled for the geothermal power project on St. Vincent & the Grenadines, the developer is now exploring technical solutions to make the project viable.

Local news are picking up ongoing discussions on the geothermal project in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean.

According to the government of the island state, the larger scale plans of geothermal power generation for the country are facing serious challenges.

In a statement today, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said “that the wells dug on the slopes of the La Soufriere volcano have produced the heat but not the permeability needed for electricity generation at the required level.”

“There has to be a testing to see how many megawatts you are going to get. Clearly, given a lack of sufficiency of the permeability, you are not going to get the predicted geothermal output, so the question would be at a much lower output whether it makes sense to go through with the project,” so Gonsalves.

Drilling is finished and further testing is now expected to see how the challenge of permeability of the rocks for economic production of geothermal power constitutes a real problem.

The heat of the wells measured represents a temperature of 250 degrees Celsius, which is more than sufficient to generate power, yet the water volume derived from the wells is not in line with expectations. How other technologies could be used is currently investigated.

For the financing partners involved, it is – according to the news – unclear how or if they would help finance changes to the approach of the project in form of grants. The financing partners are the Inter-American Development Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank.

Source: iWitness News