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St. Vincent well positioned for swift geothermal development

Petit St. Vincent (PSV), Winward Island, The Grenadines, Caribbean (source: flickr/ lyng883, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 23 May 2016

With a unique private-public development model, the geothermal project on St. Vincent in the Caribbean is well positioned to progress swiftly on development.

Following an article this week on the status of geothermal development in the Caribbean, New Energy Events recently also provided an insight into the status of development in St. Vincent (& Grenadines).

With all the challenges faced and experienced on the other island states in the region, St. Vincent seems to be in much better shape and might come out ahead of its peers in the region when it comes to getting a geothermal plant up and running.

Reykjavik Geothermal and Emera Caribbean are currently working on the development of a 10-15 MW plant on St. Vincent. It is well positioned as the resource is promising and the government, the local utility and the developer seem to work well together. … and – likely most important – the financing also seems to be coming along.

With drilling expected to start late this year or early 2017, power generation could start by 2018. Contrary to other island states, the public private partnership has worked, according to local representatives.

St. Vincent Geothermal Company Ltd – comprised of the St. Vincent government, Emera, and RG – has – so New Energy Events – “eased financial and technical burdens typically associated with geothermal development and has so far enabled the project to progress fluidly. “Reykjavik Geothermal is bringing the geothermal expertise and we are bringing the project management and utility perspective”, explained Peter Williams, Managing Director of Emera Caribbean. He added that the government has moved quickly to support geothermal energy development, and “that cooperation shows their commitment to get the project finished as soon as possible.” Also at the table is the Clinton Climate Initiative who are credited with providing some of the initial impetus to get the project off the ground, not least by match-making RG and Emera, and who serve today in an advisory role to the government.”

Particularly the financing seems to be providing a fantastic example on what can work with regards to get projects of the ground in the region.

The first phase of surface exploration was privately funded by Reykjavik Geothermal and Emera, while the remaining phases will be cost-shared between the private developer and the public sector.  The Inter-American Development Bank – as supporter of the project – has designed a debt program for the island that will not touch the sovereign guarantee, as part of the Sustainable Energy Fund administered by the Caribbean Development Bank. Furthermore the project has “secured $15 million from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development for the final phase of the project, and anticipates funding of $9.5 million from IDB/CDB, and $5.8 million (£4 million) from the UK Department for International Development for the drilling phase, expected to cost $30 million.”, so New Energy Events

 

Source: New Energy Events