Costa Rica plans advanced geothermal mitigation studies

Friday, December 19, 2014

Advanced environmental mitigation studies are planned as part of Costa Rica's push to further tap the country's geothermal power potential.

IDB will provide technical cooperation funding approved earlier this year to support state power company ICE's geothermal plans in Guanacaste province.

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The studies will target projects Pailas II and Borinquén I and II, according to a procurement notice from the regional lender. Expressions of interest are due January 8.

Pailas II will boast 55MW and is scheduled to begin operations in the third quarter of 2018. Construction began in April 2013 and is around 17% complete.

In August, ICE and the Japan International Cooperation Agency signed a loan agreement for up to 16.8bn yen (US$141mn) for Pailas II.

Borinquén is an early stage project which envisions 110MW and startup by 2021.

The country's current geothermal power comes from Pailas (35MW) and Miravalles (182MW).

ICE's generation expansion plan recommends adding 495MW geothermal.

Costa Rica's total installed capacity at end-2013 was 2,774MW, the bulk of which is hydro (1,764MW). Diesel and bunker-fueled plants contribute 622MW, wind 144MW, biomass 34MW and solar 1MW.