Dominica Geothermal Power Plant
Dominica Geothermal Power Plant

Roseau, Dominica: The Commonwealth of Dominica is pushing its quest for climate resilience one step further by initiating the construction of a “Geothermal Power Plant”. Currently, two geothermal wells are under work to advance the country’s efforts to adopt renewable energy.

The construction of the power plant is currently underway in Roseau Valley. Prime Minister Dr Roosevelt Skerrit also noted that satisfactory work has been done on the site and the work is progressing at a steady pace. He outlined that the preparatory works are ongoing for the drilling of two geothermal wells, which will pace up Dominica’s Geothermal Energy Project.

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The government of Dominica has contracted the local firm, ACE Engineering Ltd. Under their work, they will construct two well pads across roads to the sites and a temporary water supply for the drilling operations.

Two tanks are also under construction, which would assist in removing run-off sediments from the well pad before their release into the environment. The tanks will also mitigate the waste generated from drilling by making a ‘mud-pit’. A well pad is a relatively flat work area within the geothermal field used for drilling a well. Iceland Drilling Company will undertake the drilling later this year.

About Geothermal Power Plant Dominica

It is a project initiated by the government of Dominica to pace up climate-resilient aims. It will use hydrothermal resources that consisted of both water (hydro) and heat (thermal). The operations will require a high temperature of around 300°F to 700°F in hydrothermal resources. The resources will come either from dry streams or from hot water wells. These resources are further used by drilling wells into the earth and then piping srean or hot water to the surface. The hot water or steam will power a turbine that generates electricity.

A geothermal Power plant is a project which meets every requirement of resilience as it is the natural way to generate electricity that will not harm the environment. The plant will not only power Dominica with renewable sources, reducing energy costs but also work efficiently to contain the carbon emissions.

At a geothermal power plant, wells are drilled one or two miles deep into the Earth to pump steam or hot water to the surface. Brimming with hot springs, geysers, and volcanic activity where the Earth is particularly hot just below the surface, Dominica is the suitable and preferrable location to manifest geothermal energy.

Benefits of Geothermal Power Plant

Geothermal Power Plant has come out with significant positive impacts as Prime Minister Dr Roosevelt Skerrit stated that it will power 23,000 homes across the country, which represents approximately 90 percent of Dominica’s entire population.

Besides this, the construction of a Geothermal Power Plant will help reduce the electricity costs in Dominica which will also further increase the share of the renewable energy in the country’s energy mix from 25 percent to 51 percent. Due to the reduction in the electricity cost, the country will also witnesses greenhouse gas emissions of 38, 223 tons of CO2 per year.

With Dominica shifting to Geothermal Energy, the country will take a step ahead in its efforts to become world’s first climate resilient country and promote sustainability.
It will guide other countries and boots the step in the climate-resilience worldwide and alarm them to create preparedness for the climate change issues.

Further, Micha Rose Emmett CEO of CS Global Partners while outlining the extraordinary efforts of Dominica, stated the Geothermal Power Plant shows country’s commitment towards resilience.

She stated that the geothermal power plant project reduces the country’s reliance on the imported fossil fuels.

She noted, “The government of Dominica adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015, including the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Projects like the geothermal energy plant are putting the Nature Isle ahead of the globe in combatting climate change while relieving the country of its reliance on imported fossil fuels.”

Micha Rose Emmett
Micha Rose Emmett

Dominica has been facing the challenges caused by climate change with numerous natural disasters often targeting the island country. It has witnessed several catastrophes over the years and is vulnerable to a wide range of natural hazards. The most common and historically significant were tropical storms and hurricanes.

Despite facing immeasurable devastation due to Tropical Storm Erika, Hurricane Maria, and Tropical Storm Irma, Dominica kept high spirits and the government made every possible effort and built back better which shows the real story of regeneration and resilience.

As the sea-level rise and extreme weather threaten its entire population, the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) such as Dominica continue to be on the front line of the war against climate change. Extreme weather conditions caused by climate change continue to pose threat.

Not unlike other island countries in the Caribbean, Dominica is particularly vulnerable to natural as well as manmade hazards. Sea levels, rising temperatures, and coastal erosion as a result of global warming place the country at even greater risk of being exposed and endangered to extreme weather events.

It’s evident that the country is vulnerable, with risks even more magnified as a result of global warming. As seen with hurricanes and Tropical storms which affect the entire economy not just during the event but also in the aftermath and the time it takes to rebuild which caused a high loss of GDP and capital.

The aforementioned disasters caused immeasurable losses, as Tropical Storm Erika in 2015 witnessed an economic decline that was approximately 90% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as per the report by OCHA Services and UNDP.

While, the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment reads that Hurricane Maria in 2017 caused damage to Dominica of EC$2.51 billion (US$931 million) and losses of EC$1.03 billion (US$382 million). The total deterioration was equivalent to 226% of GDP in 2016.

Hence, the situation of climate change alarmed the countries across the globe, but do not create much consciousness in their minds. Developed countries never pay keen attention to the issue which further deepens the vulnerability in the situation.

In the wake of the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Maria and other natural calamities, Dominica began to slowly rebuild, fully aware that climate change may mean more catastrophic storms in the future. Bearing this in mind, Dominica- a small island country with a population of about 70,000 has stepped into war against climate change. As the country sees climate change as an urgent and far-reaching development issue, not just an environmental concern.