PICO ALTO 4 MWe GEOTHERMAL PLANT NOW POWERING UP TERCEIRA ISLAND IN THE AZORES
A new geothermal power plant has become operational in the Azores, Portugal. The inauguration ceremony of the Pico Alto 4 MWe geothermal power plant was held this morning in the stunning scenery of the Terceira Island, in the Azores. The plant designed and built by EXERGY and the Portuguese company CME for EDA RENOVÁVEIS, owned by EDA, the Azores power utility company, is now in commercial operation providing green baseload electricity to meet the island’s energy needs.
The 4 MWe binary plant utilizes a geothermal high enthalpy resource, exploiting the heat available both in steam flow and geothermal brine. For this challenging project located in a remote site, in the center of Terceira Island, 1500 Km off Portugal mainland, the Consortium EXERGY - CME supplied a turnkey solution, including the engineering and construction of the gathering systems, the air cooled ORC unit equipped with EXERGY Radial Outflow Turbine and all balance of plant equipment.
Thanks to a tailored and efficient cycle design and the EXERGY’s proven Radial Outflow Turbine technology, the plant has reached the highest possible conversion efficiency producing up to 4.9 MWe of electricity, with an average of 4.5 MWe, thus overperforming on the guaranteed values .
By means of Pico Alto geothermal plant, EDA Renováveis is now providing a sustainable and reliable source of electricity to more than 56,000 inhabitants of Terceira, meeting up to 10% of the island electricity needs.
Participating at the inauguration ceremony, chaired by the President of the Regional Government of the Azores Mr. Vasco Cordeiro, Carlos Alberto Raposo Bicudo Ponte, member of EDA Renováveis Board of Directors commented:
“The Pico Alto Geothermal Power Plant inauguration is the first milestone for the commercial geothermal exploitation start up in Terceira Island, increasing the diversification of the power generation mix and boosting the contribution from renewables. The construction project was a technical and management challenge, with several contractors working at same time and, in some occasions, in harsh climate conditions. This was effectively overcome thanks to the close cooperation from all the high-specialized teams, where EXERGY assumed successfully the lead role. We are very pleased with the initial production results. For the first 2-months of operation, the Pico Alto power plant have been providing a stable and reliable supply of 4 MWe of electricity to the grid. Maintaining this high performance in 2018, the annual production of Pico Alto power plant will likely surpass the estimative made before the construction of the power plant. Thus, geothermal contribution will probably exceed 10% of the electricity needs of Terceira, relieving this part of the power production from thermal groups, where fossil fuels are consumed, hence ensuring savings to the economy of the Azores, as well as environmental benefits, reducing the greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere.
With a geothermal portfolio reaching more than 340 MWe and a capacity in operation of 331,5 MWe EXERGY represents today the second largest geothermal binary fleet in the world.
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