First Geothermal brine recovery power plant of the Philippines comes online for EDC
- May 18, 2022 10:01 am GMT
It was inaugurated on 27th April with a ceremony held at the presence of EDC's management, governments authorities and representatives from Indigenous Peoples host community the Mindanao 3 (M3) binary geothermal power plant. It is the first geothermal brine recovery power plant to come online in the Philippines, expanding the existing EDC's Mount Apo geothermal facility with an additional supply of clean, reliable, stable power in Mindanao.
The new ORC plant was synchronized to the Mindanao electricity grid on March 12 then passed compliance testing by system operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines on March 25 and it is now delivering 3.6 MW of carbon-free electricity to the grid.
The power plant was designed and supplied by the Italy-based ORC provider Exergy International and started construction in the first half of 2021. The ORC cycle operates by recovering the thermal energy of the waste geothermal brine available from 103 MW Mindanao 1 and 2 existing steam power plants,and converts it into electricity through a turbine before reinjecting it into the reservoir. The technology utilizes the unique Radial Outflow Turbine configuration, a first in the Philippines, which can produce geothermal power at high efficiency. The new installation enhances the productivity of the existing geothermal field without the need of additional drilling, avoiding environmental impact.
In addition to providing reliable power to the Mindanao region the new Mindanao 3 binary plant will also avoid the emission of around 25,000 tonnes of equivalent carbon dioxide each year through the use of clean geothermal energy in place of coal.
The Mindanao 3 binary plant is part of EDC’s commitment to continuously power the Mindanao region’s growing economy with 100% clean energy to lessen its dependence on fossil fuels such as coal, that have primarily caused our warming planet.
High potential of application for brine recovery
There is a good chance for brine recovery solutions to be developed, and large potential to harness as this type of project can be replicated in many regions around the world. In Asia Pacific area and other countries at the edge of the "Ring of Fire" the main technology used to harness geothermal resources has been for years the flash steam turbine power plant. There is a wide fleet in operation in these geographical areas with more than 10 GW of flash steam turbine power plants installed worldwide among which more than 6 GW are with single flash technology suitable for brine recovery. Developing the 6 GW brine recovery potential could add from 15% to 40% of power production, which means from 900 MW to 2,4 GW of potential additional geothermal power capacity worldwide.
Another advantage that makes this application attractive is related to the economics. Brine recovery projects can be more easily implemented than greenfield geothermal, with much lower investment risks and start-up time. By exploiting geothermal resources already available and assessed they avoid all the risks and costs associated to exploration and drilling.
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