O'Donnell Griffin completes alternative energy projects in NZ

Wednesday, 19 October, 2011

O'Donnell Griffin has completed two alternative-energy projects in New Zealand on time, on budget and with zero lost-time injuries.

Geothermal energy is created by harnessing volcanic heat from beneath the ground. It is considered sustainable because any projected heat extraction is small compared to the Earth's heat content. Geothermal power is particularly suited to New Zealand, since the country sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a 40,000-kilometre-long, horseshoe-shaped chain of volcanic arcs and belts.

Ormat Pacific, an Israeli company specialising in the development of geothermal plants for projects around the world, commissioned O’Donnell Griffin for two projects in the New Zealand region to install the high-voltage power systems, low-voltage controls, instrumentation and electrical services on site.

The first site was the Kawerau Geothermal Power Station, a 9.4 megawatt geothermal plant with a 11 kV/400 volt power system.

The Kawerau Geothermal Power Station is particularly important as it supplies power directly to Norske Skog Paper Mill and CHH Tasman Pulp Mill, reducing their need to use power from the country’s main grid.

The second geothermal plant, Te Huka, is located at Taupo, about 80 kilometres south of Rotorua. It delivers 23 megawatts to the national grid and is the first power station to be built on the Tauhara geothermal steam field.

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