World’s First Integrated Geothermal and Biomass Plant Goes Online

World’s First Integrated Geothermal and Biomass Plant Goes Online

Enel Green Power has announced the completion of a 5 megawatt (MW) biomass power plant in Italy’s Tuscany region that integrates biomass with geothermal steam generation.

A first of its kind, the newly constructed biomass plant will use locally sourced virgin forest organic matter and a super-heater boiler to increase steam temperatures at the nearby 13-MW Cornia 2 geothermal plant. Geothermal steam temperatures entering the Cornia 2 plant will be raised from 300 degrees to over 700 degrees (Fahrenheit). The result, according to Enel Green Power, will be an increase in the geothermal plant’s net electricity generation capacity.

It is projected that the integration of the biomass plant will boost the overall Cornia 2 geothermal plant output by some 30 gigawatt hours (GWh) a year. It will also mitigate the emission of 13,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. This innovative technological approach will result in minimal local environmental impact and secure total renewability within the resources used and the cycle of energy generation.

Francesco Venturini, CEO of Enel Green Power, said the combination of the two technologies is a major step forward for the future of renewable energy and expects it will result in the establishment of a replicable model that opens up new local energy, economic and employment opportunities.

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