Puna Geothermal Venture Celebrates 15 Years of Geothermal Power in Hawai’i

PAHOA, Hawaii, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ — Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV)
celebrates 15 years of producing renewable geothermal electricity on Hawaii
Island as the state seeks to tap greater levels of clean, renewable energy
resources-particularly for electric transportation.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081211/LATH031)

“When Big Island residents are sleeping, geothermal energy might be
charging their electrical vehicles or producing hydrogen fuel,” said Hawaii
Lt. Governor James “Duke” Aiona, Jr.

“That this single power plant provides nearly 20 percent of the Island’s
electricity without exhaust or emissions, without burning a single drop of
fossil fuel, and without relying on the geopolitics of nations halfway around
the globe is truly amazing,” the Lt. Governor said.

Hawaii recently announced plans for electric vehicle recharging stations
across the state-only the second of its kind announced in the nation. The
network could be a prototype for the adoption of electric cars in communities
across the United States. An electric car powered by geothermal energy was on
display at the PGV event.

“Hawaii Island promises to be in the forefront of the electric vehicle
network because our island already has more than 30 percent of its electric
power coming from alternatives — 20 percent from here at PGV,” said Mike
Kaleikini, PGV plant manager.

Roughly 200 business and community representatives, supporters, colleagues
and employees of PGV attended a luau luncheon at the plant facility in Pahoa,
Hawaii today (Wednesday, December 10, 2008).

In operation since 1993, Puna Geothermal Venture delivers 30 megawatts of
firm, renewable energy to Hawaii Electric Light Company, providing nearly 20
percent of the Big Island’s electricity needs. The only commercial geothermal
power plant in the state, PGV is located in Puna District in Kilauea Volcano’s
East Rift Zone. State-of-the-art technology generates power by extracting
steam and hot water from this volcanic hot spot and converting it into
electricity. One hundred percent of its fluids are injected back into the
Earth’s interior without exposure to the open air. As a result the plant has
near zero emissions.

“The underground geothermal resource at PGV has the capacity to generate
considerably more than 30 megawatts,” says Kaleikini. “There is still room to
grow this indigenous, abundant resource. We are poised to expand our
production to help meet the Big Island’s emerging energy needs.”

Geothermal energy is what’s known as a “firm” resource. It is predictable
and reliable-when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, heat from
the Earth continues to produce steady flows of geothermal steam used to
produce electricity, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“We at Puna Geothermal Venture consider this geothermal resource a gift,
to be used wisely,” said Kaleikini. “We recognize that we — all of
Hawaii — are in fact the beneficiaries of this tremendous natural and
sustainable resource. Our goal is to provide even greater stability as Hawaii
moves toward greater energy independence”

Puna Geothermal Venture is an affiliate of Ormat Technologies, Inc., a
global leader in geothermal technology based in Reno, Nevada. PGV employs
about 30 people as well as routine and seasonal contractors, contributing to
payroll revenues to Hawaii Island.

[Via http://www.prnewswire.com]

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