June 12, 2024
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Slovenia: Pilot geothermal power plant produces initial kWh of electricity

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The first kilowatts of electricity have been produced at Slovenia’s first geothermal power station located on an abandoned gas well in Centiba, near Lendava. However, according to the investor, Dravske Elektrarne Maribor (DEM), tests revealed that modifications would be necessary for viable long-term energy generation.

DEM, the largest producer of renewable energy sources in the HSE energy group, began the underground rehabilitation of the non-productive well Pg-8 towards the end of 2022. This involved reaching a depth of approximately 3,000 metres to exploit the geothermal energy potential for the first Slovenian pilot geothermal power plant in Centiba.

Work on the surface began in April of last year and involved construction as well as electrical and mechanical installations. The initial plan was to begin testing the pilot geothermal power plant last fall, but the process was delayed due to challenges at a depth of 1,600 meters where the removal of a separation part proved more difficult than anticipated.

An additional delay was caused by the need to dry the well after filling it with water during the cleaning and testing phase, DEM said.

The start-up tests began at the start of this month, revealing that the power plant cannot currently operate permanently at the thermal capacity of the Pg-8 well. The well does not provide sufficient thermal capacity to maintain the necessary flow of ammonia vapours for the 50 kW pilot plant’s permanent operation. Despite producing the first kilowatt hours of electricity, continuous operation will only be achievable by modifying the turbine equipment.

Future work will focus on finding solutions to enable a more consistent operation of the turbine under current conditions, as indicated by the initial results of the innovative pilot project.

Damjan Seme, general manager of DEM said that overcoming the challenges of the pilot project and producing the first kilowatt hours of electricity are a significant milestone. He believes that modifying the turbine part of the equipment will establish a constant operation and serve as a guide for similar projects in the future, intellinews.com reports.

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