120 MW of geothermal plant in the Caribbean island country of Santa Lucia

US-based company Qualibou Energy has signed an agreement with the Caribbean state of Santa Lucia for the development of geothermal resources on the island, whose population is approximately 160 thousand.

The project foresees three phases for the construction of plants for a total 120 MW of electricity in the area of Sulphur Springs, close to the town of Soufriere.

The first phase regards a 12 MW facility, to be completed by 2012. The plant will then be expanded to 75 MW, of which 35 MW will be grid-connected in Santa Lucia and 40 MW will be exported to the French department of Martinique, by means of a submarine cable approximately 30 miles long.

In the final third phase, additional 45 MW will be installed, of which 5 MW will be used to increase the base power demand in Santa Lucia and 40 MW will also to be exported to Martinique. According to Qualibou Energy, the whole project could be completed by 2015.

Geological research on the island of Santa Lucia, which is located in the volcanic arc of the Small Antilles, began in the ’70s and has required investments for over $30 million (2008 value). Of the nine wells that have been drilled, five are productive, with ascertained resources amounting to 30 MW. Potential resources are currently estimated in further 140 MW.