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NZ: Contact Energy opens 23MW Tauhara/ Te Huka binary plant

Tauhara Geothermal Plant, Stage 2 development presentation (source: Contact Energ
Alexander Richter 2 Jun 2010

Contact Energy has completed its new NZ$100 million (US$68m), 23 megawatt geothermal power station near Taupo, New Zealand, three weeks ahead of schedule.

Reported from New Zealand, “Contact Energy has completed its new NZ$100 million (US$68m), 23 megawatt geothermal power station near Taupo, New Zealand, three weeks ahead of schedule.

‘The Te Huka binary plant – also known as Tauhara One – has been completed ahead of schedule and under budget,’ Contact’s Managing Director David Baldwin said. The power station will provide enough baseload renewable energy to power approximately 23,000 homes.

Tauhara One is the first project in Contact’s $600 million current investment programme to be completed. This year Contact will also open the 200 megawatt, $250 million Stratford gas-fired fast-start peakers and the $250 million Ahuroa gas storage facility in Taranaki – projects which will add operational flexibility to Contact’s portfolio and additional peaking capacity to New Zealand.

Mr Baldwin said construction of the new peaking power station at Stratford was also progressing well, with construction of the station due to be completed by the end of May at which point it will begin commissioning. All testing of the plant is due to be completed by October.

Mr Baldwin said the early delivery of Tauhara One was an important milestone in Contact’s geothermal growth strategy. Contact is currently seeking consents for its 250 MW Tauhara Two geothermal power station through a Board of Inquiry process and advancing development of its consented 220 MW Te Mihi power station.

The company also expects exploration of the Taheke geothermal resource to commence shortly, in conjunction with its joint venture partner, the Taheke 8C Incorporation.

In other news it is also said that Contact Energy “is also seeking consents to build a bigger 250MW Tauhara Two geothermal power station through a board of inquiry process.

“Submissions closed on 14 May and 60 submissions were received,” a spokesperson tells. A hearing is likely to commence in early October in Taupo, with a decision expected in mid-January 2011,” she adds.

The 250MW power station represents around NZ$1bn of investment in the Taupo region. Contact Energy has NZ$2.5bn worth of renewable energy projects under development in New Zealand.”

Source: OilVoice, ReCharge