The project aims to deliver a 10MW geothermal power plant to the Caribbean island nation of St. Vincent & the Grenadines (SVG), transforming its energy sector, reducing its dependency on imported diesel, and providing a new sustainable and affordable source of energy based on an indigenous resource. Once operational, the plant will supply all of the country’s baseload power and bring renewable energy sources to approximately 73 percent of total power generation, exceeding SVG’s Energy Action Plan target of 60 percent by 2020.
The commissioning of the plant is expected to be in approximately two years. The development of the plant has been ongoing for some time with Civil Works starting in 2018 and turbines expected to be tendered out in 2019. SVGCL is a public-private partnership owned by the Government of St. Vincent and Reykjavik Geothermal, an Icelandic company focusing on geothermal power development with projects in East Africa, Mexico and the Caribbean.
According to Sigurdur Sigurdsson, CEO of Jardboranir (IDC), this is the fifth drilling contract in the Caribbean, but Iceland Drilling has been working in the area since 2011, both in Dominica and in Montserrat.
The project is being supported by several international organizations. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is the lead financier, and is also coordinating funding from the international development community in the form of grants, contingent recoverable grants (CRG) and concessional loans. The Inter-American Development Bank, using resources from the Clean Technology Fund and the Global Environmental Facility has provided a CRG to mitigate risks associated with the drilling phase of the Project. The United Kingdom Department for International Development and the European Union Caribbean Investment Facility are also lead contributors to the project.
Other major sponsors include ADFD via IRENA, and the Governments of New Zealand, Japan and the United Arab Emirates. The project has also received assistance from international bodies such as CCI, RMI and Carbon War Room.
Photo: Signing in Reykjavik. Front row, Sigurdur Sigurdsson CEO IDC, Gunnar Örn Gunnarsson COO RG and standing are from left, Garðar Sigurjónsson Project Manager IDC, Vilhjálmur GudmundssonDirector Business Development IDC, and Thorleifur Finnson, Project Manager SVGCL.