Nevis Island partners with NREI to develop geothermal energy plant
The Nevis Cabinet announced today that Nevis Renewable Energy International (NREI) is their choice as the developer of its geothermal energy project.
This much-anticipated project, spearheaded by acting premier, Mark A.G. Brantley, will reduce and eventually eliminate Nevis' need for existing diesel-fired electrical generation and replace it with renewable energy.
"Nevis is committed to beginning this journey on the path to greener living," said acting premier, Mark A.G. Brantley. He also stated that "the use of renewable energy will result in a reduction of emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases, thus advancing Nevis' commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change".
"The use of geothermal energy will not only make Nevis a greener place in the future, but also makes it less vulnerable to volatile oil prices, as the cost of geothermal energy is stabilised under a long-term contract," stated Alexis Jeffers, senior minister in the Ministry of Utilities. He added that Nevis currently needs to import 4,250,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year.
Nevis Electricity Company Limited (NEVLEC) and the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) have been working together to select a company to use for geothermal energy development and geothermal power plant design, construction and operation on Nevis Island. Throughout the procurement process, NEVLEC and NIA have placed a strong emphasis on identifying a technically and financially qualified development partner for the island's considerable geothermal resource potential that would create the most value for the island and NEVLEC's rate paying customers.
Beginning in January 2014, NREI will construct a geothermal power plant and injection-and-production wells on 79 acres of Crown Land leased from the Nevis Island Administration. In addition to providing lower cost and cleaner electricity for Nevis, this can potentially be expanded to include St Kitts and other islands in the future. With the support and expertise of NREI, the project will utilise local resources as much as possible for site development, planning and construction; create new economic opportunities for local businesses; and mentor Nevisian government, educational and other organisations by providing technology transfer and training in areas of geology, modelling, well design/drilling, power plant development, operation, maintenance and technical/financial risk assessment. In so doing, NREI will assist NEVLEC and NIA to design and implement a geothermal programme that will enable Nevis to develop the expertise needed to serve as a centre of excellence for geothermal development throughout the West Indies.
As Nevis moves forward with its renewable energy development project, island authorities wish to maintain its authentic Caribbean feel. Sustainable tourism is Nevis' goal. The island has a laid-back attitude, a pristine landscape and a superb restaurant scene that does not include any fast food chains. It is home to only one 5-star resort and other lodging choices are old-world style plantation inns. While Nevis moves forward in its efforts to provide sustainable power to its people and its neighbours, it plans to remain, as Brantley likes to say, "how the Caribbean used to be. Now, we will strive to earn the accolade, the greenest place on earth."