Mexican company develops small portable 500 kW geothermal power plant unit

Grupo Enal small geothermal power plant units, Mexico (source: screenshot of Grupo Enal website)
Alexander Richter 15 Aug 2017

Mexican Grupo Enal has developed a small 500 kW geothermal power generation unit to be used on exploratory wells and is now testing it.

The high cost and long time of conventional large-scale geothermal development has been a challenge for the geothermal sector ever since it started. So there have been various approaches to help provide a faster development.

A Mexican company has now developed a small-scale 500 kW plant that could be installed on exploratory wells. The company Grupo Enal has developed this portable unit.

“We came to this solution while working for a producer that needed to start generating energy to support the development of their geothermal projects. Our client was considering either diesel generators or solar roofing. However, we decided to take advantage of the existing geothermal resource placed there. After some engineering, we created the first geothermal plant for distributed generation with a production capacity of 20kW,” explains Gerardo Hiriart, Director General of Grupo Enal. After further engineering and hard work, Enal has now developed a 500 kW geothermal portable power plant that is ready to be tested in real life conditions.

The overall concept of a small-scale geothermal plant is though actually not new. There have been small-scale and portable units with ORC technology all from a few kW to 100-200 kW, as well as smaller-scale flash-condensing units. With an average size of wells of around 2-3 MW, it would be interesting to see if these small units could actually utilise slim holes.

The solution now offered by Grupo Enal seems to be a backpressure-unit.

Essentially it comes down to financial modelling to see if this makes financial sense. With regards to testing the reservoir this could be indeed interesting, but if it provides sufficient

Source: Renewable Energy Mexico