Slovakia will have its first geothermal power plant

Žiar basin is ideal for such a project, says the company that will construct the power plant.

Geothermal powerplant in IcelandGeothermal powerplant in Iceland (Source: Unsplash)

The Žiar nad Hronom district in central Slovakia will accommodate the first geothermal power plant in Slovakia.

Run by the Košice-based PW Energy company, the power plant should bring clean and sustainable electricity source to the entire region, with the possibility of additional use of residual heat.

The construction of the power plant should start in the first quarter of 2022, while it should be put into operation in the first quarter of 2026. The first phase of construction is expected to cost €108-120 million, the SITA newswire reported.

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“The potential of the Žiar basin is assumed to be at least 20 MWe,” said Michal Mašek, project manager of PW Energy, as quoted by SITA. “This means that the generated electricity could supply about 50,000 households.”

At the same time, the generated heat can be used by an additional thousands of households, as well as by industry, agriculture or for recreational purposes, Mašek added.

Suitable natural conditions

Technologically, the use of geothermal energy requires drilling at a depth of three to four kilometres. Water from the ground with a temperature of 140-150 Celsius degrees reaches the surface, where through the heating of the working fluid it generates steam and it drives the generator turbine. The generated electricity is then supplied to the distribution network, SITA reported.

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The geothermal power plant will use the binary cycle, in which the depleted hot water circulates in a closed system without coming into contact with the environment.

Slovakia has favourable natural conditions for using geothermal sources, because they create a precondition for sufficiently hot water. The second condition is also met: the permeable structure of the bedrock, from where this water is pumped, the manager states, adding that the company selected the most promising areas based on available data from geological surveys.

“All experts confirmed suitable hydrogeothermal conditions in Žiar and recommended as another step the implementation of an exploratory drill,” Mašek said for SITA.

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