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Montserrat’s Geothermal Energy “Gold Mine”?

Thermal Energy Partners of Texas suggests that Montserrat’s accessible geothermal energy resource is potentially 100 million watts.


Geothermal energy for Montserrat is not just for the sake of renewable energy, (going green) unless it is the ‘game changer’ it has been touted to be. Hence the question, of significance now.




BRADES – As the Government of Montserrat continues its “early market engagement” [EME] for geothermal energy development, on Tuesday January 23rd, it met with Mr Bruce L Cutright of Thermal Energy Partners [TEP], a Texas-based firm that is working to develop Nevis’ Geothermal energy resource. During the press conference held at the Ministry of Public Works, Mr Cutwright suggested that – given the temperature and fluid flow characteristics of Wells Mon 1 and Mon 2 – Montserrat may have up to 100 Million Watts of accessible geothermal energy. He also suggested that US Government research laboratory data indicates that costs for electricity could be reduced up to thirty to fifty (30 – 50) percent.


TEP is therefore offering itself as a potential partner for developing geothermal power in Montserrat on a public-private partnership, commercial basis.


An initial development would be likely to be 3 – 5 million watts. (Montserrat’s current peak electrical load is a bit over 2 million watts.)


When Mr. Cutwright was asked by TMR about the suggested potential reduction in cost of electricity, he explained that based on US Department of Energy [DoE] data, geothermal electricity is commonly produced at a “levellised cost” of US$ 0.05 – 0.12 per kWh [kilowatt hour]. He then suggested that our current costs to produce electricity are about US$ 0.38 – 0.55 per kWh. He further suggested that the reduction in cost to produce electrical energy could then lead to moving the price from about US$ 0.45 – 0.50 per kWh to possibly US$ 0.25 per kWh, hence reduction by a third to a half. However, TMR notes that specific, “hard” numbers will depend on the particular design of the plant to be developed and on various linked financial decisions. Transparency about the process is in the public interest.


Mr. Cutright also indicated that in neighbouring Nevis, TEP has helped to identify a geothermal resource of 100 – 400 million watts and is working with the Government of Nevis in a partnership to develop geothermal energy there. (Official sources there suggest 300 million watts and there are indications that some estimates are as high as 650 million watts.) The proposed initial plant size there is to be 9 million watts.  For Nevis, Mr. Cutright indicated that there is a contract to provide electricity at US$ 0.19 per kWh, of which the Government of Nevis gets US$ 0.025 – 0.030.


Encouraged by developments in Nevis, the Government of St Kitts-Nevis is also looking to develop identified resources in St Kitts and to explore interconnectivity with Nevis as well as possibilities for export.[3] Such export will require undersea power cables, which will therefore be within a few dozen miles of Montserrat.


A September 3rd 2016 Carib Journal article [4] indicates that the Government of Antigua and Barbuda has also signed a memorandum of agreement with TEP towards developing a Organic Rankine Cycle geothermal plant with ten million watts of capacity.


In a related development, Mr. Indranil Ahmed (newly appointed Infrastructure Advisor for Montserrat, St Helena and Tristan da Cunha for of DFID) has indicted that the Mon3 well is not critical to developing geothermal energy in Montserrat. However there is an intent to use one well for reinjection of fluids after heat has been extracted to generate electricity. DFID is committed to the development of three wells, including rehabilitation of the third well, which is now at 2.4 km depth.


DFID’s focus going forward is on a public-private partnership engagement towards successfully developing Montserrat’s geothermal resource.



Category/ies:Antigua & Barbuda News, Geothermal Energy, Geothermal Tech, Montserrat News, News, Regional News, Renewable Energy, St Kitts and Nevis News.
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