Nevis to harness alternative energy

| 11/06/2009

(Trinidad & Tobago Express): The tiny island of Nevis, at just 93 square miles, has taken a giant leap in generating electrical power, setting the stage for a shift in the energy paradigm for its OECS neighbours. On April 27, the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) signed a contract with West Indies Power (Nevis) Ltd (WIP) to establish a geothermal power plant. At a ceremony in the capital city Charlestown, hundreds of residents witnessed the Nevis Electricity Company Ltd sign a power purchase agreement with WIP. The first phase of the project will see a 10MW single flash plant that will supply all of the electrical needs of Nevis, an island that depends heavily on tourism, hence a reliable electricity supply.

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  1. Green Hornet says:

    We are only 60 miles north of the Cayman Trench, a known  area of volcanic activity. I can’t see any problems at all with geothermal just, as usual, the political will to do it.

  2. G-Money says:

    Cayman net News, May 8th 2008

    “I had parked my boat on a lot for five years, and I finally decided to build a house,” Mr Knapp said. “I have geo-thermal to run the air-conditioning and hot water; wind turbines that create 10 kilowatts of electricity; and solar power to make electricity and create hydrogen,” which manufactures power that can be stored for as many as 15 days without sun – “and there is no way in the world that weever go for 15 days in a row without sun,” Mr Knapp said.

    The house is finished to the best of my knowledge, I expect the owner Mr. James Knapp would be happy to provide you with further details

    • Tim W says:

      The house in Grand Harbour is probably using a geothermal heat pump for air conditioning and not generating electricity (just a guess). That process uses the cooler temperatures just below the surface of the earth to cool the refrigerant for an air conditioning unit (either directly or indirectly) rather than using a big noisy fan that is sitting in the sun all day long. The process to produce electricity is completely different. That process uses steam from deep in the earth (instead of burning diesel) to turn turbines to produce electricity. Geothermal heat pumps will definitely work here and if we are lucky geothermal electricity generation will also work. The barrier for the geothermal heat pumps is the initial cost. They are approximately double the cost of traditional air conditioning units. However, once installed they use about 70% less electricity. Another advantage is that all equipment is inside so it does not get damaged from the elements. The biggest barrier for geothermal electricity will be CUC.

      • Anon says:

        "The biggest barrier for geothermal electricity will be CUC".

        Why would CUC be a barrier? Didn’t it invite interested parties in respect of wind energy? Geothermal would be renewable energy and therefore not subject to a competitive solicitation process.  

  3. Tim W says:

    this should be possible in the Cayman Islands as well.

    • Caymaniam says:

      Tim W,

      Unfortunately, I disagree.

      Nevis is part of an "island arc" of volcanic islands and presumably exhibits shallow subsurface tempuratures way above those at the surface . The Cayman Islands are capped with hundreds of feet of stable marine limestone deposits. In my opion, we have a better chance of exploiting the temperature differential of the seawater, which, just a few hundred yards offshore, drops away rapidly into very cold water (ultimately close to freezing).  There is a technology for exploiting this temperature differential called OTEC, but I am unaware of economically succesful applications.

      • Tim W says:

        Please take a few minutes to read through the slides on the website noted below. This technology is in use all over the world and has proven to be economically successful. Some of the wells are over 2 miles deep so a few hundred feet of limestone would not be an obstacle. I think it would be relatively inexpensive to drill some wells to see if geothermal energy would be feasible here compared to the cost of investing in OTEC equipment that may or may not be economically viable



        • G-Money says:

          Geothermal Energy has already been accessed in Grand Cayman, albeit on a smaller scale, at a home in Grand Harbour.

          CNS: Can you give us more details about this?