Top Energy gets green light for 50 MW expansion plans at Ngawha

Ngawha geothermal plant (source: Ormat)
Alexander Richter 15 Sep 2015

Top Energy has received consent for the staged development of the 50 MW expansion of its Ngawah geothermal power station in the North of New Zealand.

As reported this morning from New Zealand, Top Energy has received the green light for its expansion project of its geothermal power generation at Ngawha.

The consent was granted by a panel of three independent commissioners for a staged development of the project. The Ngawha geothermal power station has today an installed power generation capacity of 25 MW.

Top Energy is expected to cover the estimated investment cost of NZ$ 250m (ca. US$ 160m) with potentially some additional investors. “The proposed new power stations will likely be constructed of the same or similar equipment, and will operate in the much the same way as the existing power station,” so Top Energy on its website.

There have been some critical voices that fear the potential impact on the hot springs at Ngawha, but the impact was seen as minor in the overall context, but certain conditions have been added to the project.

“The Ngawha field is the country’s only high temperature geothermal resource outside of the Taupo volcanic zone and the commissioners said the creation of two new 25 megawatt power stations would have positive effects at a local and national level.”, so Radio New Zealand.

The project will give the North Island a more reliable source of power and also have a positive impact on competitive pricing.

Top Energy hopes to begin building the first power station in 2017.

Source: Radio New Zealand, additional details in the press release by the Northland Regional Council via Scoop