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Turboden on its repowering of the Lightning Dock geothermal plant in New Mexico

Lightning Dock geothermal plant, New Mexico - video screenshot
Alexander Richter 8 Jan 2020

In an interesting article for GRC, Turboden and Industrial Builders share details about their work on repowering of the Lightning Dock geothermal power plant in New Mexico.

In an article published in the recent GRC Bulletin of November/ December 2019, Italian ORC supplier Turboden and U.S.-based Industrial Builders share details about their work on the repowerment of the Lightning Dock geothermal power plant in New Mexico, United States.

The Lightning Dock Geothermal (LDG) resource area is located on the east side of Animas Valley in Hidalgo County, in the southwest corner of New Mexico.

For over 30 years, starting in 1977, LDG was home to a greenhouse complex that became one of the largest in the U.S. In 2013, a 4 MW plant was installed by Cyrq Energy, Inc. (Cyrq Energy) to deliver electricity to Public Service Company of New Mexico, with plans to further enlarge it to 10 MW. However, the second phase of the development with the original equipment supplier was never completed.

In 2017, Cyrq Energy selected Turboden and Industrial Builders to perform a complete repower of the power plant at Lightning Dock. The contractor offered to provide a new power plant producing 11.0 MW net (14 MW gross) electric power with a single Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) turbine.  The new plant began commercial operation in December 2018 and outputs over 10 MW of electricity onto the grid.

The plant provides power for over 10,000 homes in New Mexico with 100% renewable energy, through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with PNM, the state’s largest utility. The project was completed ahead of schedule and on budget due to the team effort by the owner, Cyrq Energy, the plant supplier, Turboden, and the engineering procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor, Industrial Builders. Thus, this project is a useful lesson on how an improved design and technology can be utilized for repowering an older plant to create a positive business case, due to the expected higher plant availability and greatly increased efficiency.

The solution of a single axial turbine proposed by Turboden allows to increase the nominal output to 13.7 MWe and off design up to 15.2 MWe.

Cyrq held a celebration of the repowering at the plant in October 2019. The event was attended by New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and Ron Darnell, Senior Vice President of PNM Resources. At that time, Cyrq named the new plant after geothermal pioneer Bruce Levy, whose accomplishments included work on the New Mexico site. Levy concluded his career in geothermal energy of over 30 years with Cyrq Energy, where his years of experience in the industry proved invaluable to Cyrq’s development and engineering efforts. Levy, who died last year, loved the Animas Valley and will be sorely missed by all in the industry that had the pleasure of working with him.

For the full article as published by Turboden and Industrial Builders in the GRC Bulletin (pdf)

Source: Turboden