January 7 (Renewables Now) - US-based Ormat Technologies Inc (NYSE:ORA) on Monday explained how it plans to upgrade the 38-MW geothermal power plant on Hawaii Island, held by its subsidiary Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV), to boost its capacity to 46 MW.
The company will install two new binary units that will replace ten 25-year-old steam units, while also upgrading the existing auxiliary equipment. The upgraded plant will utilise the same amount of geothermal resource as the existing facility, but the higher efficiency of the new equipment will help boost the total capacity by 8 MW.
The upgraded facility is expected to become operational during the first half of 2022.
The plant upgrade is part of an amended power purchase agreement (PPA) agreed by PGV and Hawaiian Electric, which was filed with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on December 31 and is expected to be approved this year.
The amended contract includes a fixed price of USD 70.00 (EUR 62.62) per MWh, while the existing PPA for the plant was linked to fossil fuel pricing. The new agreement comes into effect when the upgraded facility becomes operational, and expires in 2052.
PGV shut down the plant in Puna after the Kilauea Volcano erupted in May 2018. Ormat said reconstruction works to bring it back to operation are underway and it is on track to reach full capacity by the end of June.
(USD 1. 0 = EUR 0.8946)