Ngawha gains consent
Another step towards the expansion of the Ngawha power station has been achieved with recent approval of final resource consents.
Top Energy applied for a variation on existing consents which were granted by the Environment Court in February 2016 after it purchased 184 hectares of land adjacent to its Ngawha operations.
The final consents were granted in July and will last 35 years. Chief executive Russell Shaw says the land offers clear advantages.
‘‘The land is located over the highest temperatures in the geothermal field. By relocating our production wells and the two power stations we have enhanced access to the geothermal reservoir, thereby increasing the efficiency of the power station and reducing our construction costs,’’ he says.
Top Energy plans to increase the capacity of the station to 50 MW by 2020 and, subject to geothermal field performance and market conditions, to 75 MW by 2026. Peak demand in the Far North varies from 70MW on a winters evening to 22MW on Christmas day.
Construction and engineering contracts are in the process of being awarded with civil works expected to start later this year with a commissioning target of June 2020.