Contact Energy announces new 51 MW geothermal project in NZ

Contact Energy announces new 51 MW geothermal project in NZ Tauhara geothermal plant (source: 3D rendering/ Contact Energy, screenshot)
Alexander Richter 14 Aug 2022

Contact Energy announces a planned 51 MW expansion at its Te Huka geothermal plant and and an increase in capacity of its Tauhara development currently under development.

In its reports on the annual results for the 12 months to 30 June 2022, New Zealand renewable energy company Contact Energy released its financial results and new investment plans.

It announced, it will be building a new 51.4MW geothermal power station adjacent to its existing Te Huka power station. The approved investment totals NZ$300 million (around USD 189 million).

Te Huka Unit 3 is the latest investment commitment into Contact’s world-class geothermal development pipeline after Tauhara. Once both stations are operational, they will produce clean, low carbon, renewable electricity that operates 24/7 and is not reliant on the weather.

This combined investment will increase Contact’s renewable electricity generation by 25 percent from what is produced today and increase New Zealand’s total renewable electricity supply by over 5 percent on average per year. Earlier in the year, Contact announced an upgrade to the Tauhara power station’s expected capacity by 11 percent, from 152 MW to 168 MW following the outstanding results from the drilling campaign. It is expected to be completed in the second half of 2023.

“While COVID-19 has had an impact on the project’s progress and cost, we continue to assess all options to deliver more output and reinforce returns. Once completed, Tauhara will be a world-class renewable development that will be a foundation for New Zealand’s increased renewable electricity needs over the next decade,” Mr Fuge said.

The company plans that the plant would start operation in Q4 2024.

Source: Contact Energy release and presentation