PGV resumes operations

Puna Geothermal Venture has resumed operations.

Electricity production began on Nov. 5 and the plant is currently delivering 1-2 megawatts of energy to the utility grid, parent company Ormat Technologies Inc. said in a news release.

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The company expects to gradually ramp up production to approximately 15 megawatts by the end of the year, should an additional production well be successfully connected to the power plant. The goal is to resume full operations by the middle of 2021.

Hawaii’s only geothermal power plant was isolated by lava during the 2018 eruption of Kilauea volcano, when lava destroyed a substation and covered a few geothermal wells, as well as cut off road access to the facility.

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PGV officials hoped the plant would be operational by the end of 2019 and could sell electricity early in 2020, but the facility experienced some equipment problems when attempting to come back online, and the startup was postponed.

A full story will appear in Friday’s edition of the Tribune-Herald.

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