The advantage that geothermal power generation holds over other renewable energy sources is that it is constant.
This means that it is not dependent on sun, wind or rain like more traditional renewable energy sources.
Geothermal generation delivers reliable and inexpensive electricity around the clock.
The plant is a binary design meaning that it is supplied with two phase geothermal fluid from the adjacent KA24 well. This fluid is separated into steam and brine and put through heat exchangers that heat and pressurise the second fluid (N Pentane), which becomes gas. This force drives the turbine, which then powers the generator.
It is a closed-loop system and the residual fluid is condensed and re- injected back into the thermal reservoir. This allows for the fluid to be re-heated and used again. We use approximately 220 tons of geothermal fluid per hour which represents about 5% of total field.
It is on land owned by the Matata Parish 39A 2A Ahu Whenua Trust and the Matata Parish 39A 2B 2B Ahu Whenua Trust and provides them annual revenues as a lease, which is tied to productivity. In 2013 a new resource consent was issued to allow the plant to continue to operate for up to 35 years.
Operation and maintenance of the plant is overseen from Whakatane. The GDL plant has proved its reliability with an annual targeted availability of 96%.
All electricity produced by the plant is purchased by a nearby industrial customer, connected to the facility with an 11kV overhead distribution line.