by David Corrigan, video by Stephanie Salazar
POHOKI, Hawaii – Puna residents are saying there was another incident at Puna Geothermal Venture on Tuesday night.
Puna Pono Alliance member Bob Petricci says plant officials confirmed there was a leak at the facility.
In an email to Petricci that was shared with the community, PGV official Mike Kaleikini wrote that the company experienced a condensate pump failure at around 7 PM. “The Gasket and bolt failure resulted in geothermal condensate leak for about 15 minutes before personnel isolated the pump and stopped all leakage,” Kaleikini wrote.
We hope to have more details soon.
It was less than a month ago that a power outage caused PGV to trip offline and activate its emergency venting system.
“We were not notified by Hawaii Civil Defense or PGV,” Petricci wrote. “We only found out after the fact because the community is working together to report accidents. Except for the call from an impacted member in the community we may never have known about this.”
Petricci said that at 7:25 he got a call from a resident who smelled Hydrogen sulfide – or H2S – on Pohoiki Road. The smell is a tell tale sign that there could be a leak or a venting of some kind at the nearby geothermal plant. Petricci went on to detial his quest for answers.
Petricci added that he assumed the leak “had a high potential for very dangerous levels of H2S because of the need for protective gear in the area of the leak, and the composition of the geothermal condensate.”