A Strategic Research Theme Project (SRT) by the University of the South Pacific (USP) in collaboration with UNSW Australia.
This pilot project aims at demonstrating a clean geothermal power solution for off-grid use in the South Pacific. The long term aim is to integrate multiple uses of naturally available geothermal heat for electric power,
cooling solutions and providing fresh water and other direct heat uses to local communities. The pilot project develops a central freezing and geothermal absorption chilling facility for Natewa Bay (below photo) as the first step using a comparatively low risk direct heat technology. The project is a seed for establishing an international alliance for a cleaner developing world,
supporting the cascaded use of natural geothermal heat as the main energy source for industrial and domestic use.
ta Hot Spring at Vusasivo
The hot spring is locally known as the “Waikatakata” (hot water) spring shown on the right and is located at 16°33.8’ S, 179°44.8’E. It issues from a hillside into a creek bed. The spring had a temperature of 64.4°C in 1898 and 66.0° C in 1972 . The geothermal freezer facility plans to service the traditional landowners of Vusasivo Village and adjoining Natewa Village in coodination with the Nambu Conservation Trust of Natewa ( ~1000 villagers). The villagers have basic infrastructure (Post office, Church, Small Clinic) but lack any possibility for keeping food fresh and have no clean water and sewerage installations. This leads to significant provision problems and enhances the risk of food poisoning and diseases. A central Cool Store powered by a geothermally driven ammonia-water chiller could solve these issues. Technically the project is identical to the Chena Hot Spring installation http://www.chenahotsprings.com/ice-museum-renewables/ which provides ice for an ice museum. The timing of lending international development support appears to be just right. Reference: 1. Woodrow, P., Geology of South East Vanua Levu, in Bulletin No. 4 1976.