Thursday, May 16, 2013

New Zealand:

Ngawha's Geothermal Power Plant Expansion Promises Economic Boost (

An expansion of Ngawha's geothermal power station would turn the Far North of New Zealand's north island into an electricity exporter and create new jobs in an area where employment is badly needed.

Lines company and generator Top Energy already owns and operates a 25 MWe geothermal plant east of Kaikohe but has been buying up land for a possible expansion to 100 MWe.

If it goes ahead that would be more than enough to power the Far North and meet more than half of Northland's total 180 MWe needs. Far North consumption ranges from 22 MWe to a peak of 85 MWe.

Chief executive Russell Shaw said the company had been studying the Ngawha geothermal field - the country's biggest outside the Volcanic Plateau - since 2007 to work out how much electricity or heat could be produced.

''Although we won't know exactly what we have until we explore through test drilling, we believe there could be enough resource for an additional 100 MWe of energy.''

The expansion would see four more Israeli-built 25 MWe Ormat power plants added to the existing one built in 2008.

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