Chilean Colbun plans 100 MW geothermal development

Chilean Colbun plans 100 MW geothermal development El Tatio Geysers, Chile - not related to story (source: flickr/Phillie Casablanca, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 27 Jun 2010

Chilean power company Colbun is planning geothermal development of 100 MW as part of a larger drive for new capacity from "non-conventional" energy sources.

“Chilean power generator Colbun is planning to install more than 300 megawatts of new capacity using non-conventional energy sources over the next 10 years, local daily El Mercurio reported.”, of which 100 MW are planned geothermal development, so recent news.

“Chile’s government wants 20% of the nation’s energy coming from alternative power sources by 2020, including such sources as wind, solar, small-scale hydro and geothermal.

“The objective is to, by 2015, have new renewable energy sources that are competitive, and geothermal energy is at the heart of that strategy,” Bernardo Larrain, Colbun’s chief executive, was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Colbun is aiming to develop some 100 megawatts in geothermal energy. As Chile is one of the most seismically active nations on the planet, with frequent earthquakes and volcanoes dotting the country from north to south, there is considerable potential for developing geothermal energy, which is harnessed from the heat stored beneath the earth’s surface.

Studies suggest geothermal energy in Chile could provide some 16,000 megawatts, which would be more than the nation’s current installed capacity.

Colbun is Chile’s second-largest generator by installed capacity after Empresa Nacional de Electricidad SA, or Endesa. Colbun has 2,615 megawatts of installed capacity in Chile’s central SIC grid, or some 25% of the total market, which is roughly split between hydro and thermal capacity.”

Source: WSJ