Geothermal Power Plants in Central America & the Caribbean  

Ahuachapán
Location: El Salvador
Operator: LAGEO SA de CV
Configuration: 2 X 30 MW, 1 X 35 MW single-flash and double-flash
Operation: 1976-1981
T/G supplier: MHI
Quick facts: After early geothermal exploration efforts in the mid-1960s, the first well was drilled in 1968 in Ahuachapán in western El Salvador. It confirmed the existence of a water-dominant reservoir between 600m and 1500m. With aid from the UN and the World Bank, full-scale development started in 1972. When the third generating unit came online, Ahuachapán supplied 41% of El Salvador’s electricity. Thereafter, a sharp drop in reservoir pressure required that generation be scaled back.

Photograph courtesy of Enel Latin America
Re-posted 20 May 2008

Amatitlan
Location: Guatemala
Operator: Empresa de Generacion de Energia Electrica del INDE
Configuration: 2 X 12 MW ORC, 1 X 1.2 MW ST
Operation: 2006
T/G supplier: Ormat
EPC: Ormat
Quick facts: In Q3, 2005, Ormat began construction on the Amatitlan project 40km south of Guatemala City. To finance and build the scheme, Ormat set up a special-purpose project company, Otitlan Ltda.

Photograph courtesy of Ormat
Posted 26 Mar 2011

Berlin
Location: El Salvador
Operator: LAGEO SA de CV
Configuration: 2 X 28 MW, 1 X 44 MW
Operation: 1999-2007
T/G supplier: Fuji, GE
Quick facts: A 9-MW binary unit was added in 2008. Enel has a 36.2% stake in LAGEO.

Photograph courtesy of LAGEO SA de CV
Posted 25 Jun 2004

Boca de Pozo
Location: Costa Rica
Operator:
Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad
Configuration: 2 X 5 MW single-flash units
Operation: 1996-1997
T/G supplier: MHI
Quick facts: At the Miravalles site.

Photograph courtesy of Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad
Posted 29 Dec 2003

 

Cerro Prieto
Location: Mexico
Operator: Comision Federal de Electricidad
Configuration: 720 MW in single-flash, and double-flash units
Operation: 1973-2000
T/G supplier: Toshiba, MHI
Quick facts: One of the world's largest geothermal complexes. When the fist set at Cerro Prieto started-up in Apr 1973, this ushered in the first continuous use of geothermal power in the country. Cerro Prieto is the name of volcanic feature in far northern Baja not far from the U.S. line. The geothermal field is essentially at sea level in the alluvial plain of the Mexicali Valley. Over 150 production and injection wells have been drilled at Cerro Prieto. Other infrastructure includes 170km of pipeline for steam and condensate and 60km of brine channels.

Photograph courtesy of Comision Federal de Electricidad
Posted 18 Jul 2010

La Bouillante
Location: Guadeloupe
Operator: Geothermie Bouillante SA
Configuration: 1 X 4.5 MW, 1 X 11 MW
Operation: 1996-2004
T/G supplier: Alstom
Quick facts: This is the only geothermal plant in the Caribbean and is jointly owned by BRGM Group and EDF. In 2001, new wells were drilled and additional geothermal resources were secured sufficient for a new unit.  Drilling and new computer modeling was supported by the owners along with the EU, Ademe, and local government.  In total, the plant now supplies about 10% of Guadeloupe's electricity.

Photograph courtesy of Geothermie Bouillante SA
Posted 11 Mar 2006

Los Azufres
Location: Mexico
Operator: Comision Federal de Electricidad
Configuration: 198 MW in binary, single-flash, and double-flash units
Operation: 1982-2003
T/G supplier: Ansaldo, MHI, Ormat, Alstom, GE

Photograph courtesy of Comision Federal de Electricidad
Posted 18 Sep 2005

 

Miravalles
Location: Costa Rica
Operator:
Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad
Configuration: 2 X 55 MW single-flash units
Operation: 1994-1998
T/G supplier: Toshiba, Ansaldo
EPC: West Japan Engineering, Marubeni, Ansaldo
Quick facts: Exploration of the Miravalles and Rincon de la Vieja geothermal resources began in 1974 and the first wells were drilled five years later. Miravalles-1 went online on 25 Mar 1994. Funding was supplied by the Inter-American Development Bank.

Photograph courtesy of West Japan Engineering
Posted 28 Mar 2009

Miravalles-III
Location: Costa Rica
Operator: Geoenergia de Guanacaste Ltda
Configuration: 1 X 27.5 MW single-flash unit
Operation: 2000
T/G supplier: MHI, Melco
EPC: MHI, Power Engineers, Satet
Quick facts: This is the first geothermal BOT project in Central America and was awarded in 1997 to a consortium of Oxbow Power, Marubeni Corp, and Jose Altmann & Cia. The unit went commercial in Mar 2000.

Photograph by Luis Alb Gonzalez M (panoramio)
Posted 28 Mar 2009

Miravalles-V
Location: Costa Rica
Operator: Ormat Industries
Configuration: 2 X 7.75-MW ORC
Operation: 2003
T/G supplier: Ormat
EPC: Ormat
Quick facts: The Ormat Energy Converter (OEC) modules recover waste heat from the hot brine discharged from the existing Miravalles plants.

Photograph courtesy of Ormat
Posted 23 May 2007

Momotombo Binary
Location: Nicaragua
Operator: Ormat Technologies Inc
Configuration: 1 X 6.5 MW ORC
Operation: 2002
T/G supplier: Ormat
EPC: Ormat
Quick facts: Two 35-MW steam sets were installed at this site in 1983. From that time to 1999, the geothermal system was overexploited leading to excessive flashing and intrusion of cold water in the reservoir. This resulted in a significant decline of steam production as well as electricity generation and clogging of the injection wells. At this time, only one steam turbine is operational. A 6.5 MW ORC converter was installed in Oct 2002.

Photograph courtesy of Ormat
Posted 26 Mar 2011

Zunil
Location: Guatemala
Operator: Orzunil de Electricidad Ltd
Configuration: 24 MW ORC
Operation: 1999
T/G supplier: Ormat
Quick facts: Zunil was the first geothermal power plant in Guatemala.

Photograph courtesy of Ormat
Posted 20 Sep 2004

Abbreviations

Data: industcards, Platts UDI World Electric Power Plants Data Base

Updated 03/27/11

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