Cheap power expected from geothermal plant
Wed, 13 Jun 2012 11:05a.m.
MightyRiverPower expects electricity costs from its latest geothermal development near Taupo to be lower than normal for new geothermal power stations, and well below the assumed cost of new wind farms.
In an update on its development projects, the company said it expected the $466 million Ngatamariki plant, with an installed generating capacity of 82 megawatts, to produce electricity "with a real long run marginal cost that is less than market estimates of $80 to $85 per megawatt hour."
Most wind projects are assumed to require paybacks of around $100 per MWh.
The announcements come as MRP prepares for partial privatisation, which is expected to be completed by September 30.
The expectation of relatively low-cost electricity from Ngatamariki is unaffected by difficulties experienced with one of the injection wells being drilled for the new plant, which MRP said was "within the project contingency".
"The project remains within budget and on track for commissioning in mid-2013," said chief executive Doug Heffernan in a statement.
A further New Zealand geothermal development in the Taheke field, near Rotorua, is in the early stages of development, with exploration due in the next 12 months.
MRP's other current development project, the proposed 326MW Puketoi wind farm, near Dannevirke, has finished public hearings ahead of decisions on resource consents.
Previous indications from MRP suggest Puketoi is not likely to be developed immediately, even if resource consents are granted.
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