Geothermal power comes to Iceland

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has received an order from the Icelandic firm of Reykjavik Energy to build two 40 MW geothermal power plants at Hellisheidi, approximately 20 km east of Reykjavik. The order marks the eighth geothermal power plant consigned to MHI by the power provider.

Geothermal power generation uses geothermal fluid, a mixture of high-temperature water or steam (over 250C, or 482F), extracted from deep underground reservoirs through production wells. The steam extracted from the fluid is used to rotate a steam turbine.

The two power plants will each consist of a 40 MW steam turbine, generator, condenser and cooling tower. The first unit is targeted for start-up in September 2006, with the second unit to follow in October.

The steam turbines will be manufactured at MHI’s Nagasaki Shipyard and Machinery Works, while generators will be made by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation. The German firm of Balcke-Durr will fabricate the condensers and cooling towers. The electricity generated will be supplied mainly to local aluminium refineries.

Outside Japan, MHI has delivered geothermal power plants to 11 countries worldwide, including Iceland, the US, Mexico, the Philippines, Indonesia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Kenya. Their collective power output exceeds 2,000 MW.