The drilling of three exploratory geothermal wells in the Roseau Valley in Dominica is expected to begin at the end of July this year. The contract for the over 4.5 million euros project was awarded to the Iceland Drilling Company and is being funded by the Agence Française de Développement, the European Union, and the government of Dominica.
The long term objective is to confirm the nature and extent of the potential geothermal resource at various sites within the Wotten Waven area to determine the capacity of wells for sustainable commercial exploitation in generating electric power. Project Coordinator, Jason Timothy, explained, “We have continued studies into the 90s and recently as 2005, which have indicated that we have a very good resource to provide for development of all our energy needs and possibly to share with our French colleagues in the neighbouring islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. We have indications that these temperatures range from 250° – 300° which, in the context of geothermal energy is a very good resource. The area we are looking at is approximately 15 square kilometres and with this, we hope for close to one hundred and twenty megawatts.”
Minister for Energy Rayburn Blackmoore said that the move towards this renewable source of energy is a welcome one for the Government and people of Dominica and Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Roosevelt Skerrit explained that the exploration comes at a critical time in the global energy sector. He said, “We are signing this contract at a time when the price of fossil fuel on the international market has surpassed US$100 a barrel. One can appreciate the challenges this will pose to countries like Dominica and indeed the entire world because it will certainly increase the price to the public. It will increase the price of food on the shelves and in a time when all of us in this global environment are grappling with our own economic challenges.”