Contact Energy Tauhara Geothermal Development

( Step forward for Tauhara geothermal development.

Contact Energy today filed resource consent applications for the second phase of its development of the Tauhara geothermal resource, the 250 megawatt Tauhara stage two (Tauhara 2) development near Taupo.

Contact has requested that the resource consent application be considered under the new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) process which facilitates the potential award of consents within nine months of the application being accepted by the EPA.

Contact Managing Director David Baldwin said the Tauhara 2 development was a particularly important energy project for New Zealand.

“Once developed and commissioned, Tauhara 2 will generate enough renewable baseload electricity to power a quarter of a million homes. The development of the project will represent investment of more than $1 billion and will make an important contribution to a secure and increasingly renewable supply of electricity for New Zealand consumers.”

Mr Baldwin said a significant amount of work has gone into the development of the Tauhara 2 application, including extensive reservoir modeling and testing, community consultation and assessment of potential impacts.

In particular, the application is based upon a comprehensive and world-leading study of land subsidence in geothermal areas that Contact has undertaken over the past two years. The results of this work give Contact confidence that land subsidence will not be an issue with the development.

Tauhara 2 will follow Contact’s first stage of development of the Tauhara steam field, a 23 megawatt geothermal binary power station currently under construction in Taupo. The company also holds consents for a 220 megawatt geothermal power station at Te Mihi.

Media Release 19 February 2010 from Jonathan Hill
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