Top 10 Largest Geothermal Power Plants in the World
Geothermal energy uses radioactive decay and thermal energy left over from Earth’s formation. Geothermal power plants produce energy by circulating fluid through various types of mechanics to transfer heat to the surface. The plants rely on steam produced from heated water that has been processed using a variety of techniques, such as binary cycle, flash steam, and dry steam.
At year’s end 2022, there were 16,127 MW of geothermal power generation capacity available worldwide, increase of 286 MW over 2021. The annual capacity growth is still less than it was before COVID.
The Geysers Geothermal Complex, which is in the United States and has a 900 megawatt capacity, is the largest geothermal plant in the world. It is situated north of San Francisco and consists of 22 power plants spread over a distance of several kilometers. It is perched on top of a 30-square-mile deep magma chamber.
The installed geothermal power capacity in the United States is also among the highest in the world. Due to the relatively low temperatures of the geothermal fluids, geothermal plants have low thermal efficiency; however, because they rely on a reliable energy source, unlike wind or solar, they often have high capacity factors.
Some of the biggest geothermal projects in the world are currently being developed in Indonesia and the Philippines. The world’s largest geothermal resources are found in Asia. Near geological fault lines, these resource potentials are typically at their highest.
United States – 3,794 MW (updated our numbers as per the notes below)
Indonesia – 2,356 MW – additions at Sorik Marapi, Sokoria and a small binary plant at Lahendong
Philippines – 1,935 MW – a small binary plant was added
Turkiye – 1,682 MW – we adapted/ corrected our numbers, there were no additions in 2022
New Zealand – 1,037 MW – no changes
Mexico – 962.7 MW – no change
Kenya – 944 MW – addition of the 83.3 MW Olkaria I Unit 6 (with new additions in construction, the country should soon join the Geothermal GW Country Club)
Italy – 944 MW – no change
Iceland – 754 MW
Japan – 621 MW – smaller scale additions and corrections of numbers (of previously unrecorded numbers)
According to operational capacity, KnowInsiders.com lists the top ten geothermal power projects worldwide.
A geothermal field called The Geysers can be found in the Mayacamas Mountains of California, about 115 kilometers north of San Francisco. It is one of the largest geothermal fields in the entire world.
The Geysers Geothermal Complex is the largest geothermal installation in the world, with 15 power plants. The complex has a 1,205MW installed capacity.
While Silicon Valley Power, Northern California Power Agency, and US Renewables Group, which owns the Bottle Rock Power plant, jointly own two power plants with a capacity of 240 MW each, Calpine owns 13 power plants in the complex with a total net generating capacity of 725 MW.
The complex has a 78km2 area under it. The geothermal field’s production started in 1960 and peaked in the 1980s. Toshiba and Mitsubishi Steam provided the turbines for the complex’s power plants.
The plant for Ram Power is being built on a 0.8 square kilometer parcel of land. About 60% of the production wells have already been drilled, and major approvals have already been given.
Ram Power and SNC-Lavalin signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) in March 2012 to build the power plant. The plant will have a net installed capacity of 26MW.
A 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) was signed by Ram Power’s subsidiary Western GeoPower, under which the power produced by the new plant will be sold to the Northern California Power Agency.
Tuscany in central Italy is home to the Larderello Geothermal Complex, which consists of 34 plants with a combined net capacity of 769MW. About 10% of the geothermal energy produced globally and 26.5% of the region’s power needs are met by the complex’s power generation.
The power plants at the complex are owned by Enel Green Power and supply 25ha of greenhouses, 8,700 residential and commercial customers, and about two million families. The geothermal field’s reservoirs are between 700 and 4,000 meters deep. The geothermal field’s first plant was put into operation in 1913, making it the first of its kind ever built.
The first Larderello power plant, which had a turbine created and manufactured by Tosi Electromechanical Company, had a generating capacity of 250kW. After being destroyed during World War II, the geothermal plants at the field were rebuilt.
Like all other geothermal fields in Mexico, the 720MW Cerro Prieto Geothermal Power Station in south Mexicali, Baja California, is owned and run by the Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE).
There are four plants totaling 13 units at the power plant. The first plant was put into service in 1973, and the fourth plant wasn’t until 2000.
Four 110MW condensing turbines, four 110MW double-flash turbines, four single-flash turbines of 37.5MW each, four single-flash turbines of 25MW each, and one 30MW single-flash turbine are among the turbines at the complex. They were provided by Toshiba and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
The Makiling-Banahaw Power Plants, also known as the Makban Geothermal Power Complex, are situated in the municipalities of Bay and Calauan in the province of Laguna and Santo Tomas in the province of Batangas.
A wholly owned subsidiary of Aboitiz Power, AP Renewables, is the owner of the geothermal power complex. Six power plants totaling ten units make up the complex, including a binary plant with five 3MW units and one 0.73MW unit.
The complex, which has a 700ha footprint, opened for business in 1979. One of the suppliers of the turbines for the plants at the complex was Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
The 377MW Salak Geothermal Power Plant is located 70 kilometers from Jakarta, Indonesia.
A group of businesses, including Union Oil Company and Chevron Global Energy, initially developed the power plant. In December 2016, the Electricity Generating Public Company, Star Energy Group Holdings, Star Energy Geothermal, and the Star Energy Consortium acquired it.
The power plant provides geothermal steam to a facility used to produce 180MW of electricity at PLN, a state-owned electricity distribution company. Additionally, it manages 197MW of power plants that produce electricity for the Java-Maduro-Bali grid using geothermal steam.
The Salton Sea Geothermal Plants are a group of ten generating geothermal plants in Calipatria, close to the Salton Sea in Southern California’s Imperial Valley, with a combined generating capacity of 340MW. They are owned by CalEnergy Generation.
MidAmerican Geothermal owns the remaining 50% of the facilities, with CalEnergy Generation, the field’s operator, owning the other 50%. Southern California Edison Company receives the generated electricity.
The first unit went online in 1982 and had a 10MW output capacity. Union Oil Company and Southern California Edison collaborated to build it. In 2000, the tenth field went online. Current local projects being worked on by CalEnergy Generation include the Black Rock Project, which will feature three brand-new 50MW geothermal plants.
The Pahae Julu and Pahae Jae districts of the North Sumatra Province, Indonesia, are home to the 330MW Sarulla Geothermal Power Plant.
The Sarulla Operations Limited (SOL) consortium, made up of Medco Energi Internasional Tbk, Inpex Corporation, Itochu Corporation, Kyushu Electric Power, and Ormat Technologies, is in charge of running the power plant.
The power plant, which cost $1.7 billion to develop, has three 110MW units. The first unit started operating in March 2017, the second was put into service in October 2017, and the third unit got going in May 2018. Over 2.1 million homes receive electricity from the power plant.
The combined heat and power (CHP) and flash steam Hellisheidi geothermal power plant is situated on Mount Hengill, about 20 kilometers (km) east of the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik. The plant is capable of producing 400MW of thermal energy and 303MW of electric energy.
Orkuveita Reykjavikur is the owner of the eighth-largest geothermal power plant in the world, Hellisheidi. Mannvit Engineering and Verks Engineering were involved in its construction. The nearby aluminum refineries receive the majority of the power produced by the plant.
From 2006 to 2011, the plant was commissioned in five stages. It has a surface area of roughly 13,000 m2. Mitsubishi provided the plant with six high-pressure (HP) turbines, while Toshiba provided a low-pressure (LP) turbine.
About 300 km southeast of Manila, the Philippines, in the province of Albay is where you’ll find the Tiwi Geothermal Complex. The 289MW (net) complex is owned by AP Renewables, a division of Aboitiz Power.
Three power plants with two units each make up the complex. The geothermal field’s drilling operations started in 1972, and the power plant started operating in 1979.
Philippine Geothermal and National Power Corporation developed the project. The construction companies were Mitsui and F.F. Cruz. Toshiba generator sets are used in the power plants.
Garut in the Pasirwangi District of West Java is where you’ll find the Darajat Power Station. The geothermal power plant’s 271 MW A group of businesses, including Union Oil Company and Chevron Global Energy, created it at first.
In December 2016, the power plant was purchased by Star Energy Consortium, which is made up of Star Energy Group Holdings, Star Energy Geothermal, AC Energy, and Electricity Generating Public Company. The three plants at the power plant supply the provinces of Java and Bali. The plants were put into service in 1994, 2000, and 2007, respectively. The steam gathering system is one of the facilities that is shared by Power Plants 2 and 3.
Thiess Contractors Indonesia and Kanematsu Corporation collaborated to build the most recent plant that has been put into operation. It includes a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) turbine. MHI also provided the turbine for the second plant. The first two plants received their equipment from Hyundai Engineering.
Geothermal power plants are a unique source of renewable electricity, taking the heat generated under the earth’s surface to create steam, which is then used to turn turbines to create electricity electromagnetically.
KnowInsiders.com have listed the ten largest geothermal power plants in the world below. Each have turned a unique geological feature of our planet into an economical, and relatively environmentally friendly, means to power industries, homes, and modern societal infrastructure.
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