The National Business review has an article on the expanding geothermal power industry in New Zealand - Mighty River Power tests $430m geothermal project, lodges consent for another.
Mighty River Power is a step closer to completing its $430 million Nga Awa Purua geothermal power station and has lodged consents for another $400 million geothermal station at Ngatamariki, near Taupo.
The state-owned company said testing at Nga Awa Purua was conducted over the weekend and electricity was added to the national grid.
The 132 MW station north east of Taupo, is a joint venture between Mighty River and the Tauhara North No. 2 Trust and is a welcome new addition to electricity reliability to the peak North Island, the company said.
Maximum output, expected in April, will provide power to 130,000 homes – or the equivalent of every home in Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua and Taupo. Until then, testing will continue, with electricity added to the grid in stages.
The planned station at Ngatamariki, 17 kilometres north east of Taupo, is also in partnership with the trust.
Mighty River Power chief executive Doug Heffernan said it had been fortunate to develop a cooperative business model with Maori Land Trust partners, including Tauhara North No. 2 Trust, that enabled such projects to be feasible, given the significant capital investment needed.
“At $430 million for Nga Awa Purua; $300 million for Kawerau; and at least $400 million for Ngatamariki, its easy to see how we are nearing the end of our initial $1.2 billion geothermal investment programme,” he said.
“These are great projects that are providing a secure source of renewable electricity to help power the New Zealand economy.”