Project Details

Project Name:
Puna Geothermal Venture
Developer:
Ormat Technologies, Inc.
Technology:
Geothermal
Location:
Pahoa
Island:
Hawaii
Capacity:
38 MW (34.6 MW)
Tax Map Key:
(3)1-4-001:002
PUC Docket:
96-0042, 2011-0040
Project Status:
Existing/Operational
Description:
Located in the Puna district on the Big Island in Hawaii, Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) is the only existing geothermal power plant in Hawaii. PGV shut down operations in May 2018 due to the Kilauea volcanic eruption and lava flows impacting the PGV facility and surrounding area. PGV’s future status remains unknown, however, PGV has announced its intention to repower this facility, has carved a new road to the facility, and has started the regulatory processes. PGV is comprised of two air-cooled power plants, a combined cycle system and a binary system, with a total generating capacity of 38 megawatts (MW) and net generating capacity of 34.6 MW according to Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO). The facility includes several features to reduce environmental impacts including: noise reduction enclosures a low-profile, small-footprint design, near-zero emissions, 100% geothermal fluid reinjection, and continual monitoring measures. Originally commissioned in 1993, the facility was modified and expanded in recent years from 30 MW to its current capacity of 38 MW. HELCO is contracted to purchase power from this facility at different tiered on and off peak hours through December 2027 under its power purchase agreement with PGV approved by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in 2011 (average fiscal year 2018 pricing): 25 MW firm at $0.1190/kilowatt-hour (kWh) on-peak and $0.1206/kWh off-peak; 5 MW firm at $0.1275/kWh on-peak and off-peak; and, 8 MW cycling at $0.0649/kWh on-peak and off-peak. In 2017, the last full year of operation, PGV provided 30.8% of Hawaii island's annual electricity needs. PGV provided 10.3% of Hawaii island's energy needs from January to May 2018. In June 2019, PGV filed an application with the PUC for approval to construct a new 69 kilovolt transmission line to connect with HELCO's grid.

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