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Geothermal energy to reduce Dominicans light bills by 40%

Published:Monday | July 23, 2012 | 12:00 AM

The Dominica government says it is pleased with the developments within the geothermal energy sector and has assured nationals that they could expect at least a 40 per cent reduction in electricity bills within the coming months.

Energy Minister Rayburn Blackmore told Parliament on Thursday night that the Roosevelt Skerrit administration is considering building a 10-15 megawatt plant in the near future as the island seeks to develop alternative sources of energy, describing the geothermal sector as a success story.

We are committed therefore to adding to our energy portfolio, geothermal energy. Already we have 40 per cent hydro and 70 per cent fossil fuel, he told legislators as debate on the national budget continued here.

He said the Skerrit administration during this fiscal term will construct a small plant of 10 to 15 megawatts to deal with our local supply in Dominica to ensure that we lower the price of electricity for poor people in Dominica.

We have done a case study and looked at all the variables in so far as a 10-15 megawatt plant is concerned and we are seeing we can realise a savings of 40 per cent on our light bills and with foreign exchange and benefits of over US$6 million.

He told legislators to think about the bigger possibilities of the expansion that could give to our economy (as well as) the new industries that can be created in Dominica and the prospects for employment in this country, he said, noting that the authorities had already gone through the process of drilling three test wells.

The possibilities look good, he emphasised.

Last year, government signed an EC$17 million (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) for the exploration of geothermal energy in the Roseau Valley and earlier this year Blackmore said that the requisite test is being done to give us a sense as to whether energy can be produced from that well if it were to be converted to a production well.