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SVG clean energy for Barbados?


In three years St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) will be almost self-sufficient in electricity generated from geothermal and hydro plants, and once oil prices rise again, it wants to sell its clean energy to Barbados.

So said Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, Monday night, at a University of the West Indies,{{more}} Cave Hill Campus, Faculty of Social Sciences 40th anniversary lecture in the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination.

The SVG leader said that with technological help of the Canadian company that owns Barbados Light and Power, Emera, his country will feed the energy to Barbados, by passing it through pipes under the sea with the assistance.

“We have, depending on which experts you believe, between 150 and 300 megawatts of geothermal power under the ground,” he said.

“And we now have a partnership with Reykjavik Geothermal Ltd and Emera.

“They have a US$82 million project where we are going to build a 12 megawatt geothermal plant so that by the end of 2018 … 80 per cent of our electricity is going to be generated by geothermal and hydro.”

He said there is a 60 megawatts potential in the area from which 12 megawatts will be obtained, “and there are several geothermal areas throughout the country.”

Gonsalves said that SVG will lean on Emera’s proven technology of underground transmission of electricity from mainland Canada to offshore islands to lay down an undersea power cable to Barbados.

The Prime Minister does not see the likelihood of Barbados buying St Vincent’s excess energy soon because of the slump in the price of fossil fuel, but has a future projection.

“At the current price for fuel, I wouldn’t be able to sell to Barbados by underground cable, but when the price goes up back, as the price will go back up, whether or sometime down in the future, I would like to export energy down into Barbados.”(GA)