The Hon. Minister of Energy Paul Lewis hosted officials from Thermal Energy Partners and Alquimi Renewables for an Early Market Engagement to review the sites and present an initial proposal for the geothermal project.
On Tuesday morning, they met with members of the press to discuss their vision for supporting Montserrat’s push to run on 100% renewable energy.
Bruce Cutright of TEP said Montserrat was sitting on a gold mine, adding that the tough work had already been done by investing in the exploration of the wells. He said they were interested in offering up to 100% financing for the building and operation of a geothermal power plant. However, Minister Lewis shared that it is important to him that Montserratians have a stake in the project moving forward.
The exploration of Wells 1 and 2 was funded by the Department for International Development (DFID). Work on Well 3 was halted after a partial collapse in 2017. DFID Infrastructural Advisor Iftikhar Ahmed said a new agreement is being completed for the resumption of work at the third geothermal site, which he expects will be in the next couple of weeks.
Ahmed added that the current plan does not involve DFID funding the development of a power plant but they will maintain their commitment to the short and long-term testing of the resource.
Cutright revealed that although the early assesments have put the output power of Well 1 and 2 at around 3MW he is confident there is much more, which can be the basis for the regeneration of Montserrat’s economy by lowering costs to consumers and attract businesses who need cheaper energy.
TEP is currently a partner with the Nevis Government in its geothermal project.
This is the second EME event that the Government of Montserrat has done for the generation of geothermal power. Other companies have also indicated an interest in bidding on the project.