Vapor and biomass together. Tuscany, with the strength of its primacy in geothermal energy and the attention it pays to renewable energy sources – nearly 25,000 plants, for a maximum capacity of 645 MW and a production of 7.343 GWh, according to the most recent statistics collected by the Gestore dei Servizi Energetici (GSE) [Electrical Services Management company] – is pushing the pedal on innovation and launches the world’s first plant to integrate the harnessing of underground heat with energy derived from biodegradable goods from the agricultural sector and connected activities.
ENEL Green Power, one of the most important international players in green energy, opened the new construction site by its geothermal plant in Castelnuovo Val di Cecina, in the Pisa province, to create an installation that uses biomasses to heat geothermal vapor. The goal is to increase the energy efficiency and electric production of the geothermal cycle. In fact, next to the ENEL GP plant – one reads in the recently announcement released – a new plant fueled by biomasses from the forestry sector: this should allow an increase of the initial vapor temperature from 150-160 to 370-380 degrees, increasing the net power for the production of electricity.
There will be an additional 5MW in power for a plant that currently produces a maximum of 13 MW, and which will be able to increase productivity to nearly 37GWh/year. ENEL Green Power is investing more than €15 million, and construction should be completed by the first half of 2015. Overall, the operation will allow for a reduction of CO2 emissions by 17,000 tons per year.
“Thanks to its centennial experience with geothermal power, Tuscany already finds itself in the future, highlighted ENEL Green Power’s managing director Francesco Venturini. Hybrid technologies are the new frontier of renewable energy to optimize results, and this plant, which integrates biomass and geothermal in an innovative manner, represents a replicable model, which will open the way to new scenarios for energy, economic, and employment growth in the territory.”
Based on GSE statistics, Tuscany counts 34 geothermal plants, for a total production of approximately 770 MW and on 116 bioenergy plants that produce 182 MW
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