In just 45 days the drilling of test wells for the exploration of geothermal energy is expected to be completed in Nevis, according to Hon. Mark Brantley the Minister assigned to the geothermal project.
And he announced the geothermal project will be moving forward in hopes to making Nevis a clean, green fossil fuel free island.
Nevis Renewable Energy International (NREI) has been contracted for the exploration of geothermal sources in Nevis. The Drilling contractors DOSECC, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, have also partnered with NREI to conduct and complete the well installation. DOSECC is known in the geothermal industry for its commitment to scientific integrity, core quality, safety, and risk mitigation, all of which will continue to drive forward the Nevis geothermal project.
Once drilled, the geothermal reservoir data collected will measure the necessary performance data, geologic and reservoir information needed for the turbine heat exchangers and production well design.
Six local men have already been employed to work on the geothermal project.
Brantley said, “we have been trying to get to a point to move this project forward. I think the advantages of geothermal are well known. Clean energy, green energy, cheaper energy and a renewable resource that would really put Nevis in a category of its own,” he said.
Continuing he said, “If we can achieve what we intend to achieve here, it would mean that Nevis will become fossil fuel free for this generation of electricity and it would put us in a category of our own in the Caribbean and perhaps the world in terms of being completely sustainable for our electricity supply.”
The Observer spoke the former minister of energy Carlisle Powell on Thursday who said that he visited the drill site in Hamilton Wednesday. “…and nothing was happening. The rig had been shut down. There were just some men there sitting under a tent,” he claimed.
“Yesterday what the public and I saw on Facebook was exactly how far they reached. They are at the start at what is potentially being a two year project to get geothermal,” Powell said.
Powell said that he is in full support of the geothermal project but getting geothermal to Nevis will take some time.
“You have to be practical, they are only just starting. Geothermal, like drilling for oil and gas is not a perfect science. Nothing says that when you reach the 4000 mark, you are going to reach the steam the water in the exact temperatures that you need. They are not sure how far down they will have to go. They are not using the original wells. They are drilling brand new wells,” he said. Powell noted that there is no way geothermal will be ‘switched on’ in Nevis before the next Nevis Island Administration election.
“Ask them what discussion they have had with drillers and what is the practical estimated time by when they assume they will be able to finish what is only phase one. They are not doing production well drilling, they are doing exploratory drilling. There is a significant difference,” he said.
Meanwhile Brantley said that the project has come a significant way from its inception in 2004.