Monday, June 17, 2024
HomeGeothermalHungarian delegation visits Slovenian pilot geothermal power plant

Hungarian delegation visits Slovenian pilot geothermal power plant

A Hungarian delegation, including Minister of Energy Csaba Lantos, visited Slovenia’s first pilot geothermal power plant operated by Dravske elektrarne Maribor and Petrol Geo. The visit showcased the operation of the pilot geothermal power plant and the potential for future cooperation in deep geothermal energy.

The pilot project relies on a completely novel method of electricity production involving the application of a geothermal gravitational heat pipe (Slovenian patent SI 26426 A). What is special about this geothermal gravitational heat pipe is its use in a closed refrigerant circuit, which only requires one dry well for operation, which is in this case an existing but abandoned well, Pg-8 in Čentiba near Lendava.

Slovenian HSE Group makes progress on first Čentiba pilot geothermal power plant

At the end of 2022, together with its partners, Dravske elektrarne Maribor, the largest Slovenian producer of renewable electricity operating as part of the HSE Group, started the underground part of the rehabilitation of a non-producing well Pg-8 at a depth of approximately three thousand metres in order to exploit the geothermal energy potential for the first geothermal power plant in Slovenia. Above-ground work, which included construction work and work on electrical and mechanical installations, started in April last year.

The plant recently produced the first kilowatt hours of electricity, but constant operation in the future will only be possible if the turbine part of the equipment is modified, as tests have shown that the power plant cannot currently operate permanently at the given thermal capacity of the Pg-8 well. Addressing these operational challenges is a priority for the project team. Future efforts will focus on finding technical solutions to ensure the turbine can operate continuously under the given conditions.

“Despite certain challenges that we face in the geothermal power plant pilot project, I am proud that Dravske elektrarne Maribor, together with our partners, are breaking new ground in the utilisation of deep geothermal energy, and that the project has been brought to the point where the first kilowatt hours of electricity have been produced,” said Mag Damjan Seme, the Director General of Dravske elektrarne Maribor.

“I believe that, by modifying the turbine part of the equipment, we will be able to establish a state that will enable constant operation and production and will be an encouragement for the upcoming projects of this kind. I am happy that our neighbours, with whom we exchanged opinions and views today and opened a path towards cooperation in the utilisation of deep geothermal energy for the production of electricity, are also interested in the project,” he concluded.

Hungary’s Minister of Energy, Csaba Lantos underlined that in accordance with the guidelines set out in the country’s National Geothermal Strategy Hungary aims to double the use of geothermal energy by 2030, which could substitute 1-1.2 billion cubic metres of natural gas by 2035. “With planned measures and development, geothermal energy could become a leading sector of the Hungarian green economy. When planning energy investments, we try to follow the best international practices, which is why this visit to Slovenia also serves to exchange experience for mutual benefit,” the minister highlighted.

Sign up for our newsletters

    Monthly newsletter – Delivering the most important energy stories of the month selected by our Editor-in-chief
    Weekly Oil&Gas roundup - All major news about the oil and gas industry, LNG developments, the upscaling of new gases and related EU regulations arriving in your mailbox every Monday.
    Weekly Renewables&Climate roundup - All major news about investments in renewable energy sources, environment protection, green hydrogen and new innovative ways to tackle the climate crisis arriving in your mailbox every Tuesday.

    Most Popular