(BIVN) – Puna Geothermal Venture, looking to increase power production at its facility near Pohoiki, has published an Environmental Impact Statement Preparation Notice in the July 23 edition of The Environmental Notice.
The publication begins an administrative 30-day public review, with comments due by August 22, 2022. An EIS Public Scoping meeting will also be held on August 17 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Pāhoa Community Center.
According to the EIS Notice:
Puna Geothermal Venture is currently authorized for and operating a geothermal power plant in the Puna District on Hawai‘i Island and proposes to replace the current 12 operating power-generating units with up to four upgraded power-generating units (Project). The proposed Project would be constructed within the current PGV facility site fence line, would have a smaller footprint of disturbance than the current units, and would increase power production from 38 to 46 megawatts (MW) in Phase 1 and further increase production to 60 MW in Phase 2.
Puna Geothermal Venture was forced offline by the 2018 eruption of Kilauea volcano on the lower East Rift Zone. Lava inundated “the main access road to the power plant, the wellheads of two geothermal wells, the substation of the complex, and an adjacent warehouse that stored a drilling rig,” the Notice details. “PGV restored the damaged access and facilities and on November 5, 2020, electricity production partially resumed. PGV continued the geothermal field recovery work to increase the production of energy since then and as of early 2022, PGV currently produces approximately 25.7 MW.”
PGV and Hawaiian Electric reached an agreement on an Amended and Restated Power Purchase Agreement (ARPPA) which would “repower the existing plant using the same amount of geothermal resource, extend the term until 2052, increase capacity of the geothermal plant to 46 MW, and delink pricing for energy from oil costs with no escalation,” the document explains. The County of Hawai‘i Planning Department was designated as the approving agency for the required environmental review.