Last month, Enel Green Power commissioned the world’s geothermal-biomass hybrid power plant in Tuscany, Italy.
Enel Green Power recently announced that it has added 5 MW of biomass-based power generation capacity to an existing 13 MW geothermal power plant in Italy. The biomass unit was added to the geothermal unit to increase the overall efficiency and power generation of the power project.
The project used locally sourced forest biomass that helps increase the temperature of the steam generated from the geothermal site from 150°-160° Celsius to 370°-380° Celsius. This increases the overall enthalpy of the steam, resulting in more output from the turbine and improved overall efficiency due to reduction in moisture content in super-heated steam.
The biomass unit has an installed capacity of 5 MW and will contribute an additional 30 GWh electricity every year to the overall power being generated. Greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to about 13,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions are also expected to be offset every year.
Use of such ‘combined cycle’ power generation is common in gas-based power plants, but this project may also serve as a template for other geothermal power projects across the world to increase their power generation capacity and become competitive with the other renewable energy technologies.