The Puna Geothermal Venture power plant restarted in early November — more than two years after the 2018 eruption of Kilauea volcano forced it to stop producing electricity — and is ramping up to full production capacity.
Hawaii’s only geothermal power plant was isolated by lava during the eruption. Lava also destroyed a substation and covered a few geothermal wells, as well as cut off road access to the facility.
Mike Kaleikini, PGV’s senior director, Hawaii affairs, said Friday the plant now is generating approximately 20 megawatts of power and is targeting a return to full capacity — 38 megawatts — later this year.
“We’re pleased (with) where we’re at, but we want to get back to full capacity,” he said. “Our target is to get back to full capacity.”
In January, only one production well and two injection wells were operating.
As of Friday, however, Kaleikini said PGV has three production wells and three geothermal reinjection wells in service.
Two more reinjection wells — one new and one restored after being covered in lava during the eruption — are expected to be operational later this month, he said.
“We’ll see how these how these two additional wells contribute, then based on that, we’ll decide what the next steps will be in regards to drilling (additional wells),” Kaleikini said.