Source:ThinkGeoEnergy – Geothermal Energy News
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ThinkGeoEnergy – Geothermal Energy News

In an investor presentation today, New Zealand power company Mercury announced it will add a fifth generating unit at its Ng? Tamariki geothermal station, boosting generation output by 46MW (390 GWh p.a.).

The expansion will cost NZD 220 million (around USD 130 million, excluding capitalised interest, geothermal drilling of ~NZ$35m and sunk costs of NZ$3m), part of the signalled total commitment of up to NZ$1 billion investment in generation expected in FY24 by Mercury.

The fifth unit’s net capacity is 50MW. After reconfiguring the site, the net output for the full station increases by 46MW, increasing generation by ~390 GWh p.a. (equivalent to an additional ~55,000 households).

The project has been developed with support from our commercial partner Tauhara North #2 Trust with executed contracts for engineering, procurement and construction with global geothermal manufacturer Ormat. Construction will commence in early 2024 calendar year, with first generation expected in late 2025.

“This investment is the first wave of the NZ$1 billion we expect to commit this financial year to generation development we will construct over the next 3 years. It’s another important step in our ambitious programme to bring more renewables online for Aotearoa New Zealand,” said Mercury Chief Executive, Vince Hawksworth.

Mercury has developed the project whilst working with commercial partner Tauhara North No. 2 Trust to ensure the sustainability of the reservoir and management of the surrounding environment.

“The geothermal reservoir is our ‘Taonga tuku iho’ and as kaitiaki of this resource the sustainability of the reservoir was the most important Kaupapa,” said Mana Newton, Group Chief Executive Officer of Tauhara North No.2 Trust. “These improvements enable us to provide more benefits to our wh?nau and contributes to our 100 year plan of a more sustainable and efficient relationship with Papat??nuku.”

“We have a common goal of protecting the environmental sustainability of the natural resource used to power our generation assets and this leads to better decisions that protect the long-term health of the resource,” said Mr Hawksworth.

“We also acknowledge Ng?ti Tahu – Ng?ti Whaoa as mana whenua within this rohe, where six of our generating sites are located including Ng? Tamariki. We remain committed to continuing to build a strong and enduring relationship with them.”

The expansion is the first of three advanced renewable generation development projects expected to go to Final Investment Decision (FID) this financial year for Mercury. Kaiwaikawe wind farm and stage two of Kaiwera Downs wind farm are both nearing FID.

It also follows on from full operation of Turitea South wind farm which commenced in July, and stage one of Kaiwera Downs wind farm, expected to be fully operational next month.

“We’re in an exciting stage of growth at Mercury as we continue to deliver on our commitment to playing a leading role in Aotearoa New Zealand’s transition to a low-carbon economy. This project makes a significant contribution and supports the diversity of our premium pipeline of wind projects and prospects,” said Mr Hawksworth.

Geothermal energy is an important part of New Zealand’s energy mix because it generates 24/7. As a baseload energy source, it helps meet winter peaks and its reliability is an important complement to intermittent renewables like wind and solar.

The Nga Tamariki (Ngatamariki) geothermal plant has currently four existing units with a total net station output of 86 MW.

Source: Company release via NZ Stock Exchange

The post Mercury announces plans for 50 MW Nga Tamariki geothermal plant expansion first appeared on ThinkGeoEnergy - Geothermal Energy News.