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Costa Rica reaches record level geothermal power generation

Miravalles geothermal plant and solar plant (source: ciee.org)
Alexander Richter 9 Aug 2019

With 132.7 GWh, Costa Rica sees the highest production of electricity generated from geothermal energy since 2015 for the month of July. This represents a share of 13.3% of total electricity generated for that period in the country, so Grupo ICE.

July 2019, the National Electric System (SEN) of Costa Rica generated 132.69 GWh from geothermal energy, the most for a month in the last five years, Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) reported.

Data from the National Center for Energy Control, disclosed by ICE, specify that the geothermal generation during the last 31 days of July is the highest since that recorded in May 2014, when it was 138.62 GWh.

The ICE attributes that great participation of geothermal energy in the national electricity generation to which both 2019 and 2014 have been extremely dry years, so they have resorted to that renewable source of energy to maintain the clean profile of the ethical electricity matrix, as it the only one available 24 hours a day and does not depend on weather conditions.

The state entity recalls that with the incorporation of the Las Pailas II plant, Costa Rica now has 262 MW of installed geothermal power generation capacity, in its Alfredo Mainieri Protti and Las Pailas fields, being the third highest in the Americas, only surpassed by the United States and Mexico.

The corporate director of Electricity of Grupo ICE, Marco Acuña, affirmed that ‘with the energy of Las Pailas II, which was successfully incorporated into the system since last June, we have reached high and sustainable figures in the geothermal generation. The plant has operated continuously under full capacity of 55 MW since July 17.

Grupo ICE also indicates that the SEN reached its highest historical production in July, with 994.50 GWh, and highlights that 100 percent of this energy came from renewable resources: water, wind, geothermal energy and sun. Biomass has not added since April, when the sugarcane harvest season ended. ‘

Since 2015, Costa Rica has exceeded 98 percent of renewable electricity generation; This year already accumulates 98.53 percent. In that period, the system has integrated two firm generation plants – Revelation in 2016 and Las Pailas II in 2019 – which together complete more than 360 MW of installed capacity ‘, highlights the official information.

This puts geothermal energy as source of electricity at 13.3% of total electricity supply in Costa Rica in July 2019.

Source: Prensa Latina