Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Geothermal Energy Progress

Media Release 7 March 2008

Geothermal Energy Progress

Geothermal energy is renewable energy generated from heat naturally stored beneath the surface of the earth. Generation and heat supply technologies are well-established in New Zealand and are a sound, low maintenance alternative to fossil fuel energy sources.

This form of energy generates a minimal environmental impact and compared to other renewable sources such as wind, it has a much higher availability factor (>90%) as it is not dependent on climate.

‘Because of the continuing positive progress by New Zealand geothermal developers, what can only be described as a geothermal renaissance is occurring as geothermal energy can provide reliable baseload renewable electricity at competitive prices,’ says Dr Colin Harvey of the New Zealand Geothermal Association.

Several operations are taking great strides in the renewable energy stakes. Top Energy is progressing its 15 MW expansion of the Ngawha power station. This is a strategic investment and gives Northland a strong base of local generation.

Mighty River Power is making good progress on the 90 MW Kawerau power station. This station will sit beside the second largest industrial load in New Zealand associated with the Kawerau pulp and paper mills.

The Kawerau mills continue to be supplied geothermal steam for industrial needs. This supply is now in the ownership of Ngati Tuwharetoa Geothermal Assets (NGTA). NGTA has a progressive attitude so announcements of future development are awaited with interest.

Developments to come will be Contact Energy’s Centennial Drive Tauhara 20 MW development and the 130 MW Rotokawa expansion by a joint venture between Mighty River Power and Tauhara North No 2 Trust. Both of these have resource consents in place.

One of the largest geothermal developments will be Contact Energy’s 220 MW Te Mihi development. This will eventually replace the 50 year old Wairakei Power Station and will divert steam from that station. The Te Mihi power station will possibly be the largest geothermal development in the pipeline and will generate another 60 MW more than the current stations through more efficient use of the resource.

‘The NZGA is pleased that the government has been responsive to Contact Energy’s requests to have this project called-in for consenting purposes. A Board of Inquiry will soon hear evidence associated with this project and make decisions using the planning framework established by Environment Waikato and Taupo District Council. Contact believes that this process will be timelier than the normal consenting process which can be delayed by appeals,’ says Dr Colin Harvey.

At around 220 MW of baseload generation, the Te Mihi project will be the largest geothermal project in New Zealand’s history. Before this, Wairakei itself was our largest project, although developed in stages, with initial commissioning 50 years ago. The next largest geothermal station could be Contact’s proposed development at Tauhara (though this may be staged), followed by the recently consented Rotokawa expansion at around 130 MW. This could be rivalled by further possible expansion at Mokai by Tuaropaki Power Company, or by a new development on the Nga Tamariki field.

The scope of these projects is enormous.

Other parties (especially Maori Trusts) are actively looking for opportunities often in partnership with Mighty River Power or others. Based on published information, there are more fields that have favourable conditions.
NZGA notes that geothermal energy development will be critical to achieving the New Zealand Government’s goals in terms of electricity generation, given the heavy reliance placed on renewable energy within its Energy Strategy.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On DHB Deficits And Free Trade

Currently the world is looking on aghast at the Trump administration’s plans to slash Obamacare, mainly in order to finance massive tax changes that will deliver most of their gains to the wealthy. Lives will be lost in the trade-off. Millions of Americans stand to lose access to the healthcare they need.

Spot the difference with New Zealand, where DHBs are under intense pressure to reduce deficits within a climate of chronic underfunding. More>>


Greens' Response: Slum-Like Rentals Exposed In Renting Review

“...The grim findings of the review are a wakeup call about the true state of rentals in this country. Too many renters are festering in slum-like conditions under the thumb of landlords who have largely unchecked powers and ignore tenants’ complaints when it suits them.” More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>


Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>


Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>


Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election