TaiPower starts exploration drilling on small-scale geothermal project

Green island, Taitung County, Taiwan (source: flickr/ Anav Rin, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 29 Dec 2017

Taiwan Power Co. (TaiPower) has started drilling an exploration well for a planned small-scale geothermal power project on Green Island in Taiwan.

Drilling for a geothermal exploration well on Green Island in Taiwan was started on December 28, 2017 by Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower).

The company plans to install a 200-kilowatt geothermal generator by the end of 2019 that will generate over 1 million kilowatt hours of energy annually. According to Taipower’s plan, an experimental 200 kW generator will be set up before the end of next year, and it is estimated that before 2021, a model geothermal power plant with a capacity of to 2,000 to 4,000 kW will be completed and will then provide 80% of Green Island’s annual electricity demand.

The plan is to complete the drilling and assessment of the exploration well by August 2018. At that point it will be clear if the well is viable for the construction of a small power plant. If successful, Taipower will then begin setting up ground-level geothermal generators, which should be completed by the end of 2019.

Chen said that although Green Island is suitable to geothermal power generation, it still has to go through the trial stage to know the total energy capacity of the geothermal field through before it can be scaled up and developed into a model geothermal power plant.

Taipower further noted that while the operational cost of generating one kilowatt hour of electricity by geothermal generators is NT$6 (US$0.202), the cost through diesel generators is more than twice as much — at NT$14.

Therefore, the company will save around NT$8 million (US$266k) in operational costs each year with an annual capacity of generating 1 million kilowatt hours from the geothermal generators.

The state-owned corporation signed an agreement with the Industrial Technology Research Institute in 2015 to introduce organic Rankine cycle technology to Green Island, with the aim of building geothermal power plants able to generate 2,000 to 4,000 kilowatts of energy.

Source: Focus Taiwan, Taipei Times