Guadeloupe-based engineering company Teranov said on Nov. 11 that it started geothermal exploration in Saint Kitts in the Caribbean.
Saint Kitts, which is an island of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis in the West Indies, signed a memorandum of understanding earlier this year with Teranov for the project.
Teranov said that its representatives currently are conducting feasibility studies in geophysics, geology and geochemistry to qualify what Saint Kitts and Nevis President Jacques Chouraki said are promising prospects for geothermal on the island.
“The initial results look pretty good, but of course it’s too early to say what will be valuable… It’s a long process,” Chouraki said in a Nov. 11 statement. “We have decided to invest a lot of manpower in this project in order to speed up the process so that as quickly as possible the Saint Kitts population will be able to know exactly if there are geothermal resources available or not.”
According to a September statement by the government of Saint Kitts, the launch of commercial-scale demonstration well-drilling is anticipated for 2017, and the government expects that a geothermal power plant will be commissioned in 2020.
The Worldwatch Institute recently released a report on energy for the member countries of the Caribbean Community that said investment risks and economies of scale have traditionally hampered geothermal development in the region. The reported noted that geothermal developments are underway not only in Saint Kitts, but also in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. In addition, exploratory drilling has taken place in Dominica and Montserrat, while Grenada and Saint Lucia are conducting on-site resource assessments and exploring the possibility of commercial-scale geothermal extraction.
Lead image: Island volcano and clouds, Saint Kitts. Credit: Shutterstock.