News

Slovakia seeing development of first geothermal power plant

Kosice, Slovakia (source: flickr/ Ben Bawden, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 7 Aug 2010

Slovakia sees development of its first geothermal power plant by Geoterm, a JV of local players and the Ministry of the Economy. The project expects a plant of 8-9MW for a cost of EUR30 million.

The first geothermal power plant in Slovakia is currently being planned in the eastern part of the country. The geothermal reserves in the “Košice” basin were proved to be the most perspective area for using geothermal energy already a long time ago. The power plant with an installed power generation capacity of 3.5 MW will be built by the resort Durkov”.

The project for constructing the geothermal power plant in eastern Slovakia was lying on the table since 1990, but only 20 years later it started to move again. The geothermal potential of the area was revealed during a big geology exploration focusing on hydrocarbon resources. According to the spokesman of the company Slovak Gas Enterprise (SPP) Mr. Ondrej

Šebesta, “the construction of the geothermal power plant near ?urkov is currently in its preparation phase. The construction should be finished in two years, so by 2012 the plant could be up and running.”

According to the feasibility study, the power plant could supply with electricity approximately 11 thousand households. However, if all three local geothermal sources were used, it would be possible to reach up to 8 or 9 MW of installed electricity. The project is a joint initiative of SPP which is the biggest natural gas company in Slovakia, Heating Plant Košice (TEKO), Košice municipality and the Slovak Ministry of Economy. The project realisation is under supervision of the company Geoterm, a.s. Košice. The total costs should reach 30 million euro and return within 15 years.

During the first phase of the project, only the power plant will be constructed, but the investors also plan to use the waste heat for heating or recreational purpose. It is estimated that the geothermal source could cover up to 40 % of the annual heat consumption of the city Košice. The total heat capacity in the basin near the cities Bidovce, ?urkov and Olšovany is approximately 100 MW altogether, which represents the biggest source in Central Europe.

Slovak Republic is relatively rich in geothermal sources, which can be exploited by shallow geothermal technologies. The advantage of Slovakia is that the hot geothermal water is present naturally under the ground, but is vastly used for recreation this time. There are 116 registered geothermal wells with temperatures ranging between 18 – 129 °C. Geological exploration revealed that the total potential of geothermal energy in Slovakia is approximately 5.500 MW of which only 131 MW is currently utilized for heating.

Written by Rebecca Murray from energia.sk
Energia.sk is leading energy web portal in Slovakia. It publishes also weekly reviews of news in energy sector in context of Slovakia and EU on www.energia.sk/english (redirect to RSS on www.energia.sk/english/rss).

ThinkGeoEnergy thanks Energia.SK for the provision of this article and encourages others to share development news.