(BIVN) – The Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Puna Geothermal Venture Repower Project has been published, starting the statutory 45-day public review and comment period.
From the summary posted by The Environmental Notice:
Puna Geothermal Venture is currently authorized for and operating a geothermal power plant in the Puna District and proposes to replace the current 12 operating power-generating units with up to four energy converters. The project would increase the production of renewable energy at the existing facility (within the current site fence line) using new, more efficient units on a smaller land footprint compared to the existing units. The project would increase power production from 38 to 46 megawatts in Phase 1 and further increase production to 60 megawatts in Phase 2. The overall property size would remain the same. Most of the existing infrastructure and buildings would remain for the Project including administration buildings, the control room, maintenance areas, well pads, and the gathering system. The proposed new units would continue to safely supply reliable power from renewable geothermal resources with more efficient and quieter equipment.
PGV must complete the environmental review process as a condition to the March 16, 2022 Hawaiʻi Public Utilities Commission approval of an Amended and Restated Power Purchase Agreement with Hawaiian Electric. The County of Hawai‘i Planning Department is the approving agency for the Final EIS.
The document details the proposed action:
184.108.40.206 Proposed Action
As part of the Proposed Action, PGV would replace the 12 existing OECs with three new OECs in Phase 1 and a fourth OEC in Phase 2. Since Phase 1 is expected to use the same amount of geothermal fluid, the environmental consequences are not expected to change from current conditions. Replacement of the fourth OEC in Phase 2 would result in a relatively small increase of approximately 20 percent in use of geothermal fluids, and the environmental consequences of this increase are not expected to change significantly from current conditions as a result of Phase 2 activities. The support equipment required for Phase 2 would increase by approximately 20 percent. No additional impacts to seismic and volcanic activity at the Project Area are expected because of activities planned for Phase 1 or Phase 2.
Volcanic and tectonic risks to PGV would continue to be mitigated by siting, design, and engineering standards as described in this EIS
The Draft EIS details the opportunities for public comment on the Draft EIS:
1.7.3 Draft EIS
The public comment period on the Draft EIS was initiated through publication of the Draft EIS in The Environmental Notice. Additionally, letters with similar information to the public notice were sent to approximately 100 individual, agency, and organization stakeholders and elected officials (Table 6-1), including those individuals, agencies, and organizations who submitted written (and oral) comments on the EISPN or during the scoping meeting. Publication of the Draft EIS initiated the 45-day public review period. A voluntary Draft EIS public meeting is scheduled for June 1, 2023, to provide information to the public and agencies and to facilitate oral and written comments. Written comments must be received or postmarked within 45 days of publication of the Draft EIS. All substantive oral and written comments on the Draft EIS will be considered during the preparation of the Final EIS.