The official results are in and the Nevis geothermal resource is now being characterized as one of the top six geothermal reservoirs in the world. The implications of will not only provide resiliency and energy security to the St. Kitts and Nevis this will have a greater impact for the rest of Caribbean as a whole. Prior to the actual flow test results, Nevis’ geothermal resource was originally characterized through a Big-Data Analytics approach that estimated the resource to be commercial-grade quality by Austin-based Thermal Energy Partners, LLC (TEP). This week those previous estimates were confirmed by a team from GeothermEx, a subsidiary of Schlumberger during a recently completed Geothermal Flow & Injection Test.
GeothermEx says its findings confirm the requisite temperature and flow necessary for a sustainable supply of geothermal energy on Nevis and the reservoir has been classified as high-grade commercial quality.
TEP’s team (led by Bruce Cutright) made estimates last year using a Big-Data & Predictive Analytics approach to calculate the site could supply a minimum of 10-12 MW per production well as opposed to earlier industry estimates that only estimated 3-4 MW per well. TEP’s process that utilizes approaches from the Oil & Gas industry has resulted in transforming the way the geothermal industry can calculate resources for long-term sustainability.
During the injection test (to test the level of permeability) the team encountered no resistance indicating an extremely permeable and large reservoir. Temperatures were recorded at 492F (255 C) at a depth of approximately 3,000’ and the company anticipates drilling the production wells to 4,000’.
The Premier of Nevis, Honourable Mark Brantley says the significance of the confirmation of our resource cannot be overstated because it is an exercise that has occupied the minds of governments on Nevis since 2004. Nevis’ own electric utility NEVLEC plans to run the island completely on renewable energy including baseload geothermal that will likely be transmitted to other nearby islands starting with St. Kitts once the power plant is in operation. Nevis plans to combine geothermal with other renewables to increase the island’s resiliency level against hurricanes.