Geothermal also a possibility – St. Eustatius and Saba getting wind farms

POSTED: 06/25/12 2:56 PM

ORANJESTAD – Commissioner of Tourism and Economic Affairs in St. Eustatius Koos Sneek announced recently that both St. Eustatius and Saba are preparing to construct wind farms as a first step to using alternative energy. The project is being done in collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation as part of the set up of new companies in the two islands.
The work to set up these companies began with the signing of a three way agreement that will lead to the dissolution of Gebe as it is – a company jointly owned by a foundation with members from St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius. Each island will now have its own utility company. In order to create affordable tariff plans both Saba and St. Eustatius decided to explore alternative energy production. That includes building the wind farm and exploring using geo-thermal energy. A Memorandum of Understanding with a French company is being drafted in order to explore the possibilities for geo-thermal energy. That move represents a shift away from talks with Nevis based West Indies Power Nevis Limited.
Continuing the exploration for using geo-thermal energy is also in line with the fact that TNO did research in Saba on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation. There has also been a feasibility study on wind energy.
But Sneek’s point about using alternative energy is not just about generating energy at affordable rates. It’s also about investment and improving the broader infrastructure.
“In these two options for alternative energy lies great opportunity for private investment as well. Other yet unexplored possibilities lie in the area of solar energy and in a waste to energy project.
The latter becomes more and more relevant as a solution needs to be found for the increasing waste problem on our island,” Sneek said at the recently held Carkine Business Summit in the Netherlands.
Later he’d add, “The infrastructure on Statia leaves much to desire although steps forward are being made. Examples for this are the nearly completed water distribution network, which is expected to connect 90% of all households to potable water, and the establishment of a fibre optic cable, which will connect the island to the outer world.”

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