A geothermal power plant in the Azores islands has come online this week.

The 4 MWe Pico Alto plant (pictured) is located on Terceira Island, 1500 km off the coast of Portugal. It will now cover up to 10 per cent of the island’s power demand.

Built by a consortium of Italian Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) systems manufacturer Exergy and Portuguese engineering firm CME, the plant will be owned and operated by Azores utility EDA Renováveis.

According to Exergy, the plant uses a geothermal high enthalpy resource, exploiting the heat available in both steam flow and geothermal brine.

CME supplied a turnkey solution that included the engineering and construction of the gathering systems, the air cooled ORC unit equipped with Exergy’s Radial Outflow Turbine and all balance of plant equipment.

Marco Bonvini, Exergy’s chief operating officer, said his firm was “very proud of the successful completion of this challenging project.

“Pico Alto represents for us a great example of how innovation in greentech can provide sustainable solutions to satisfy people energy needs and contribute in improving the energy economics in remote and isolated site of the planet.

“We see many opportunities to apply our technology in remote environments and Pico Alto is a good starting point and an excellent reference.”