Puna Geothermal Venture

Before the lava from the recent volcanic eruptions smothered Puna Geothermal Venture, it provided 30 percent of the power consumed on the Island of Hawaii.

The only geothermal power plant in Hawaii, the Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) includes two air-cooled power plants, a combined cycle system, and a binary system. PGV can generate up to 38 megawatts (MW) of electricity and sells the electricity to Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCo) under three long-term power purchase agreements.

On average from 1997-2001, PGV displaced the need to burn about 475,000 barrels of fuel oil per year. During the five-year period, Hawaii Electric Light Company paid an average cost of about $27.37 a barrel for oil. That translates to an average of about $13 million annually in fuel cost savings! The PGV geothermal plant also eliminates the need to ship that amount of fuel oil from the refineries on the island of Oahu, thus significantly reducing the risk of oil spills, and the potential economic and environmental impacts a spill can represent for the state.

PGV has been generating electricity from 1993 to 2018. Ormat Technologies has increased the power plant’s production through upgrades. In 2018, the lava from Kilauea’s eruptions has covered PGV, and the plant is no longer in operation. However, PGV still employs its 30+ plant employees, who are currently helping the Puna community recover from Kilauea’s eruptions. The company plans to eventually re-open the plant.

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Subject Headings: PGV | Puna Geothermal Venture

Author: Puna Geothermal Venture

– Alice Kim

Updated: September 29, 2020
Created: September 2014