Thermal Energy Partners Secures PPA for First of Four Caribbean Geothermal Projects

Austin, Texas-based Thermal Energy Partners (TEP) recently signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) worth approximately $800 million for the first of four planned geothermal projects in the Caribbean.

Acting through subsidiary Nevis Renewable Energy International, TEP and the Nevis Electric Company, in conjunction with the Nevis Island Administration, signed a long-term agreement for 25 years of energy supply connected to a geothermal project on the island of Nevis.

“The Island of Nevis is taking a bold-step in moving away from its dependency on more expensive imported fossil fuels and transitioning to a cleaner renewable, resilient and base-load power source,” NREI President Tom Drolet said in a Nov. 25 statement.

TEP said that the first phase of the project, which could begin operations as early as 2017, will supply 9 MW of power that is immediately expandable to meet the ongoing power needs of Nevis and to export 40 MW to 50 MW of additional power to neighboring islands.

The U.S. Department of State in a Nov. 25 statement from the Office of the Spokesperson (OS) applauded the PPA, saying that the project may lead to the first inter-island electrical interconnection in the Caribbean.

The OS said that, over the past two years, the Department of State's Bureau of Energy Resources has provided technical assistance to the Nevis Island Administration and the Nevis Electricity Company in support of securing the PPA.

Nevis Deputy Premier Mark Brantley in a Nov. 25 statement called the agreement an important step in the island’s leadership in a “new, post-fossil fuel world economy.”

TEP said that the the 9 MW first phase of the plan will cost about $65 million and will be based on air-cooled geothermal technology that does not use water.

TEP is currently developing a portfolio of four geothermal plants in the Caribbean that will have a combined capacity of about 500 MW. The company said it plan to combine desalination, intermittent solar and base-load geothermal technologies to leverage each of the resource strengths.

Lead image: Aerial view of St. Kitts & Nevis in the Caribbean Sea. Credit: Shutterstock.

This article was amended on Dec. 2 at 9:30 a.m. with the Department of State Office of the Spokesperson statement.

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