Costa Rica pushes three geothermal projects that will add 165 MW in capacity

Costa Rica pushes three geothermal projects that will add 165 MW in capacity Rincon de la Vieja volcano, Costa Rica (source: flickr/ Jelle H., creative commons)
Alexander Richter 7 Dec 2015

With its recently secured credit line of $500 million, Costa Rica is pushing forward of the development of up to 165 MW in geothermal power generation capacity with its Pailas and Borinquen projects.

The Costa Rica state utility ICE plans an extensive increase in geothermal power generation capacity.

The heat from the ground in Guanacaste will be used by the ICE to produce enough energy that caters to more than 200,000 households with an investment would help reduce the vulnerability of the matrix based on hydropower.

Of three projects one is under construction and the other are planned to commence in the coming years. To push these projects further, ICE has obtained a $500 million credit line with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), as we reported before.

About $200 million of that credit line will be used to finance the Pailas II and Borinquen II geothermal projects. Both have a planned power generation capacity of 55 MW. The Pailas II project is an expansion of the existing plant the existing 35 MW plant and is expected to be operational by 2019. Construction for the Borinquen I project is expected to start in 2018 and is to completed by 2023.


Today, the total installed geothermal power generation capacity in Costa Rica is 217 MW, representing around 15% of the total electricity supply of the country.

Both projects are also financed in parts by the Japanese International Cooperation agency.  The remaining $300 million will be used for the Borinquen II project, which also has a planned installed capacity of 55 MW and is expected to be completed by 2024.

All three projects are located near the Rincon de la Vieja volcano.

“We want to encourage the diversification of the energy matrix, which is fundamentally based on hydroelectric power, which is certainly vulnerable in dry periods year, “said Carlos Echavarria, regional senior specialist senior at IDB.  The credit line will also be used to finance projects of transmission and distribution.

Source: La Republica