Following the inauguration of the Pico Alto geothermal power plant in Terceirea on the Azores Islands in November 2017, it is expected that the plant could cover up to 10% of the island’s electricity needs this year.
We reported on the plant, which has a net power generation capacity of 3.5 MW and was built by Italian ORC supplier EXERGY.
“With this inauguration on Terceira Island, it is estimated that geothermal production will reach about 10% of the island’s electricity needs coverage in 2018, contributing to the increase in production from renewable sources from 22% in 2016 to almost 40% next year, “said Regional Government President Vasco Cordeiro at the inauguration of the infrastructure.
The Azorean president pointed out that currently the Azores already have 37% of the electricity produced from renewable energies, of which 24% are from a geothermal source, giving the example of the island of Sao Miguel, where renewable resources already represent more than half of electricity production (54%).
Vasco Cordeiro also stressed the importance of these investments in the sustainability of the development of the Azores and in “reducing dependence on external factors”.
Terceira ‘s geothermal project began in 2000 with the first geophysical studies, with the first wells being opened in 2007.
The plant, which initially had a predicted power of 12 MW, was officially launched in 2009 and between the start of the project and 2015, some EUR 30 million ($36 million) were invested.
The infrastructure, located in the village of Biscoitos, in the municipality of Praia da Vitória, started operating on August 10 and the first results indicate that it has the same production of the two wind farms of the Cume mountains, also on Terceira Island, which have a jointly installed capacity three times higher (12.6 MW).
“During this last period, the Pico Alto geothermal power plant has consistently produced a power around 4 MW, higher than the contracted nominal power of this plant, which was 3.5 MW,” said the president of Electricity Azores (EDA), Duarte Ponte.
The infrastructure starts with three production wells and a reinjection well, in which the geothermal fluid, after the thermal exchanges in the plant, is returned to the reservoir, but an increase in its power is foreseen.
“We will be attentive to the results of the exploration of the Pico Alto geothermal reservoir during the next year and after a detailed and careful analysis with our scientific consultants we will consider its expansion to 10 MW, as we had predicted,” said the president of EDA .
The construction of the plant, which was awarded in July 2015, with 450 days, had a cost of EUR 9.18 million, co-financed at EUR 3,7 million, by the European Economic Area Grants (EEA). donor countries Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway.
Duarte Ponte also announced an investment of about 1.8 million euros for the remodeling of the water of Nasce d’Água, in the county of Angra do Heroísmo, on the same island, which will allow “to put in the network more stable renewable energy” .
Source: Acoriano Oriental