Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 20, 2016 (SKNIS): The Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, Minister with responsibility for Energy, gave an update on a number of projects currently taking place in the Federation with respect to alternative energy and noted that things are progressing well.
Minister Liburd was at the time speaking at a Town Hall Meeting, where a great number of persons gathered at the Joshua Obadiah Williams Primary School on Monday, July 18. The Minister pointed out that with respect to electricity/energy, the Government is doing all in its power to ensure that everyone benefits.
The Minister noted that wind energy is presently being pursued.
“A Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the Wind Farm Project at Belle Vue is just about being completed,” said Minister Liburd, who added that the PPA is presently at the Attorney-General’s Office undergoing review. “Once that is cleared, work will start on the Belle Vue Wind Farm and we anticipate within the next year we will have 5 megawatts of wind power being generated from this area in Belle Vue.”
The Minister said that the efforts are ongoing because it is predicted in the next five years, with all the developments and construction occurring in St. Kitts, that the demand for electricity will be increased by some 18 megawatts.
“The Park Hyatt will soon come on stream, and the Park Hyatt of course will put a greater demand on our national grid,” he said, while noting that the relevant authorities met with officials from the Park Hyatt to discuss these important issues. “They are going to provide their own generator as a back up to our system.”
In addition to the wind farm, Minister Liburd said that the Government continues to explore the possibility of geothermal energy on St. Kitts.
“It would be irresponsible of us as an administration if we did not establish whether there is a geothermal resource on St. Kitts,” he said, making reference to the volcanoes in the Federation. “If that is established, we will then determine how best to develop that resource without retarding the progress on Nevis.”
He said that, as things progress further, the public will be updated.
Teranov, a French engineering and services company for new and renewable energy based in Guadeloupe, has recently begun geothermal exploration exercises in the Sandy Point area around Brimstone Hill, going to the top of Mount Liamigua.
In September of this year, the Honourable Ian “Patches” Liburd, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Posts, Urban Development and Transport, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Teranov.
St. Kitts and Nevis was host to a three-day Regional Geothermal Forum from May 10 to 12, 2016, organized by the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). While delivering the feature address at Tuesday’s (May 10) opening of the forum, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, explained why the Federation was chosen.
“St. Kitts and Nevis was chosen as the venue because the organizers of the Forum felt that this Forum should be held in a CARICOM Member State which, and I quote, “on the basis of resource potential, has a realistic opportunity for integrating geothermal power into its energy mix,” end of quote. In particular, the organizers say that, quote, “the commitment of the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis to geothermal development is exemplary and continues to be manifested through an active programme on both islands,” end of quote.
“Our goal is that, by the year 2020, nearly 100 percent of the electricity supplied in the country would be produced from renewable energy sources,” said Prime Minister Harris. “We aim to become the first green country in the world and we are cognizant that this is an ambitious goal, but St. Kitts and Nevis is just the kind of country that would achieve this ambitious goal.”