Dominica’s Government says it will soon sign a contract for geothermal development on the island.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, speaking on his weekly television programme on Sunday night, said “we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel where this project is concerned.
“We have gone to tender for certain components of the project. The tenders have been sent back in and I believe that we are in a position to issue a contract for the commencement in earnest for geothermal project in Dominica,” he told viewers.
“We are very grateful for that,” he said, praising “our friends at the World Bank, from the UK government, the French, [that] they have all been exceptional in their partnership and we want to thank them for this partnership and we are very grateful for this”.
Skerrit said that the geothermal programme “would certainly be a transformational project in terms of enhancing our image globally as a leader in renewable energy, a leader in combatting climate change”.
In 2019, the Government had indicated having sufficient funds for the project’s development and construction of the geothermal plant in the Roseau Valley. The project is led by Dominica Geothermal Development Company Ltd. So far over $50 million has been invested in the project since its inception in 2011.
In 2018, the World Bank announced that it would be providing more than US$17 million towards the development of a geothermal plant for Dominica.
Meanwhile, the London-based CS Global Partners said Dominica and the United Arab Emirate (UAE)-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund (UAE-CREF) have announced a deal for a hurricane-resistant clean energy project.
CS Global Partners — which claims that it “holds government mandates to promote and develop the citizenship by investment programmess (CBI) of St Kitts and Nevis, Dominica and St Lucia” — said on Monday that the US$50 million development in Dominica will support a 5-megawatt/2.5 megawatt-hours battery energy storage system that will aid the island’s clean energy objectives.
“The system is forecasted to stabilise the electricity grid, and deliver reserve power and frequency control to the extreme weather-prone nation,” said CS Global Partners in a statement.
“It will also give the people of Dominica secure access to clean, renewable energy and pave the way to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” it added.
In light of the new contract, CS Global Partners said Prime Minister Skerrit “conveyed gratitude to the UAE Government for their significant contribution to Dominica’s development.
“The 5MW battery storage system will enable us to move more quickly to the transition from fossil fuel to renewable sources of energy in the electricity sector,” CS Global Partners quoted Skerrit as saying. “We look forward to continued partnership with the UAE in the area of sustainable development and other areas of mutual interest both bilaterally and multilaterally.”
For years, CS Global Partners said Dominica and its people have “prioritized the fight against climate change.”
“With funds from sources like the Citizenship by Investment Programme, the country has supported initiatives like the geothermal plant currently under construction,” the statement said, adding that the plant aims to generate 7MW of clean energy to supply nearly the whole Dominican population and drive the country’s energy mix to 51 percent renewables.”
Under the CBI programme, several Caribbean countries provide citizenship to foreign nationals in return for making a substantial investment in the socio0economic development of the islands.