The start of geothermal energy development in New Mexico

New Mexico has made it to the list of U.S. states that harness geothermal energy to generate electricity. The first phase of geothermal power plant construction  in the Animas Valley,  in the southwestern part of the state, is done, and the plant is now working at a capacity of 4 MW.

The current capacity should increase up to 10 MW by the end of this year. The first phase of this project had costs of $43 million, a sum that should increase by further $67 million once the project becomes fully operational.

This geothermal power plant is a closed-loop geothermal system, meaning that the heat pumped from geothermal fluid gets transferred to a working fluid, and then this working fluid flashes and powers turbines, generating electricity, after which  it is re-injected into the same deep reservoir to be naturally reheated.

It still remains to be seen whether this plant should open the door for new geothermal power projects in the state. Southwestern New Mexico has several sites with excellent geothermal power potential so there are many who expect further geothermal energy development in the area.

This project alone was very helpful in becoming one of the most important drivers of economic development in the area so more of the same would be positive for the economy.

From the environmental point of view, some people expressed their concerns about whether geothermal power plants would affect the water quality of this area. State's environmental agencies have already announced that they will watch this plant very closely though geothermal energy developers say that this plant promises no threat whatsoever to water quality in the region.
The start of geothermal energy development in New Mexico The start of geothermal energy development in New Mexico Reviewed by Lorine Wyman on January 20, 2014 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.