New Zealand Gets World's Biggest Geothermal Plant

Ormat Technologies (NYSE:ORA), the world’s leading geothermal developer, has finished construction on the biggest "singular binary power plant" ever constructed.  

The 100 megawatt (MW) plant is in New Zealand, called Ngatamariki geothermal power plant.

Here’s how Ormat describes the $142 million plant: Ormat Energy Converters are directly fed by a high temperature (380°F / 193°C) geothermal fluid. Until now, on such resources, only steam turbines or Geothermal Combined Cycle plants were used. In this configuration, 100% of the exploited geothermal fluid is re-injected with zero water consumption and low emissions, minimizing the impact on the environment with no depletion of the underground reservoir.

Geothermal Ormat

Built in a record 24 months, Ngatamariki generated 150 gigawatt hours (GWh) during commissioning. It’s expected to reach 700 GWH of annual electricity production, equivalent to that used by 80,000 households.

Over the past 25 years, Ormat has installed about 350 MW of geothermal across 14 power plants in New Zealand, the company says. Worldwide, Ormat has about 1600 MW of total capacity.

Ormat is the only vertically integrated company solely engaged in geothermal and recovered energy generation. It owns, operates, designs, manufactures and sells geothermal and recovered energy power plants primarily based on the Ormat Energy Converter – a power generation unit that converts low-, medium- and high-temperature heat into electricity. 

Yesterday, we reported that Nome, Alaska will soon be the first US city powered by geothermal, perhaps this clean source of baseload energy will finally get the attention it deserves.

Read our article, Geothermal Still the Underdog of Renewables, But Prospects Are Brighter.

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