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Slovenian power company identifies geothermal as potential opportunity

Slovenian power company identifies geothermal as potential opportunity Formin Hydroelectric Power Plant (source: DEM.si)
Alexander Richter 11 Jan 2021

As part of an announcement on planned renewable energy development, Slovenian power company Dravske elektrarne Maribor has identified geothermal as potential development option.

As part of its announcement on the third largest production of electricity in the company’s history for 2020, Slovenian power company Dravske elektrarne Maribor, the largest producer of electricity from renewable sources in Slovenia, reports on development plans

Andrej Tumpej, Director of Dravske elektrarne Maribor, said: “We are concluding one of the most unusual years, which has taken a lot away from us all, but on the other hand we are richer for new experiences and insights. Favorable hydrology and weather conditions, and above all the high readiness of our production facilities, have enabled us to produce approximately 3,150 GWh of electricity this year, which is the third largest production in the company’s seventy-year history. The credit for the excellent readiness of hydroelectric power plants goes to the employees who, regardless of the crown crisis and the measures taken with it, performed current and urgent maintenance work all the time, as we were aware that we were one of the key activities for functioning. society as a whole.”

Our work includes not only the maintenance of existing production units, but also the development of new power plants for the production of electricity from renewable sources, focusing on wind, solar and geothermal energy and electricity storage. All with the aim of following the guidelines of the country, which is committed to raising the production of electricity from renewable sources.

We plan to install a total of thirteen wind turbines at three different locations in northeastern Slovenia (all three planned projects are in the phase when the state adopted a decision on national spatial planning, which means that all necessary studies have begun to make clear answers on the actual possibility of installation), installation of a 30 MW solar power plant on the inlet and outlet channels of the Zlatoli?je and Formin hydropower plants. We also rely heavily on the possibility of setting up geothermal power plants. 

Geothermal

This year, the potential of deep geothermal energy was identified with a comprehensive map. We found that the thermal potential and structure of deep porous layers in some locations could be suitable for electricity generation. For smaller production plants, it is also possible to exploit so-called deep dry wells with geo-probes. Abandoned gas/ oil wells represent additional potential for electricity generation. 

The company’s development projects also include electricity storage devices to reduce production deviations. We also believe in the construction of the Kozjak pumped storage power plant, when the economy will allow it and the electricity system will need it. Namely, if we build only a part of the planned three thousand megawatts of solar power plants at the state level, we will need a very large source for the storage of electricity. The new Cirkovce-Pince transmission line is also welcome for the pumping power plant project, which will additionally connect Slovenia with the Central European area, where we can find potential partners who need storage tanks, however, their countries do not have such potentials. Last but not least, given that the Drava River is energy efficient, we are continuing to set up small hydropower plants on its tributaries and other suitable smaller watercourses.

The listed development projects, in addition to the ongoing work, justifiably fill us with joy and hope that the situation next year will enable us to mark the 70th anniversary of the company Dravske elektrarne Maribor with appropriate solemnity. Above all, with the desire for the realization of the mentioned projects, which will enable us to provide our descendants with at least as much energy independence as our grandfathers and fathers.

Source: Company release