Enel inaugurates combined biomass and geothermal plant in Italy

Cornia 2, hybrid biomass-geothermal plant, Tuscany/ Italy (source: Enel Green Power)

Enel Green Power inaugurates combined biomass-geothermal plant, utilising biomass to superheat steam for the geothermal plant, expanding power generation capacity by 5 MW.

Enel Green Power has now inaugurated the “Cornia 2” power plant. Located in the town of  Castelnuovo Val di Cecina, in central Italy, it is the first plant in the world that integrates geothermal and biomass.

The plant started operation and was connected to the grid in July 2015, as we reported before. It uses biomass to  superheat geothermal steam, increasing the energy efficiency and electrical output of the geothermal cycle.

The biomass-fired station uses forest wood produced of a radius of up to 70 km from the plant. The biomass firing superheats steam for the geothermal plant, from 150 to 160 degrees Celsius to between 370 degrees and 380 degrees Celsius. With this process the net power production is increased due to the greater enthalpy of the steam and lower humidity in the production phase.

Enel Green Power has invested more than EUR 15 million ($17 million) into the plant. With the investment, Enel has been able to increase the power output capacity of the plant by 5 MW, generating more than 30 GWh per year. This in turn helps to save up to 13,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

Locally, it has created jobs, for direct and indirect management for resource retrieval in the short supply chain process, and employment for around 30 people.

Other benefits from the efficient use of agricultural and agro-industrial by-products include the optimal maintenance of forests and consequent prevention of hydrogeological risk, sustainable development of energy crops and the significant availability of cogeneration heat.

Source: Il Sole 24 Ore,