News

NZ hosting largest geothermal turbine at Nga Awa Purua

Nga Awa Purua plant construction site (source: Fuji Electric)
Alexander Richter 6 May 2010

The largest geothermal turbine in the world has been installed at the new Nga Awa Purua geothermal plant in New Zealand. The turbine is from Fuji Electric with a maximum output of 147 MW.

According to news from New Zealand, “The largest geothermal turbine in the world has been constructed just north of Taupo at a new power station which runs renewable energy.” Based on information from the Turbine producer Fuji Electric the turbine has an output of 139-147 MW.

Further the piece talks about that “The power station has diminished the threat of power cuts, especially at a time when New Zealand is facing a dry winter.

Mighty River Power spokesman Doug Heffernan says compared to other renewable energies, the power continues to flow in the dark, when it is dry and however the wind blows.

The energy stripped out of the geothermal turbine will power around 140,000 homes. That is about 3% of all the power the country needs.

But the new turbine is unlikely to bring down power prices.

“These things don’t come cheaply. This cost about $430 million to build and to keep doing that, we need to generate the revenue to pay for it,” says Heffernan.

The state owned enterprise is already seeking resource consents for another power station just up the road.

Ngati Tahu plans to help with that development – their trust owns a quarter share of the plant and their people are already reaping rewards.

Tauhara North No 2 Trust spokeswoman Aroha Campbell says benefits have come in education grants, health programmes, Te Reo programmes, all of which are giving benefits back to the owners.

And the taxpayers, who ultimately own the rest, also stand to gain now that the place is set to earn $100 million a year selling them electricity.”

Source: TVNZ, Fuji Electric “Kawerau and Nga Awa Pua, Review” (pdf)