Contact Energy invests $300 million in fourth Topo power station

A view of Contact Energy's Te Huka Unit 3 geothermal power station (foreground).

Supplied/Waikato Times

A view of Contact Energy’s Te Huka Unit 3 geothermal power station (foreground).

Contact Energy’s plans to build a fourth geothermal power station at its Te Huka site in Taupo could create 250 new jobs and inject an estimated $140m into local and national economies.

The Te Huka Unit 3 power station will be an additional unit built on the existing Te Huka Power Station site on Centennial Dr in Taupo and should be online by late 2024, Contact Energy chief executive Mike Fuge said.

The company is investing $300m in the project which will generate around 51MW of electricity, or 430 gigawatt hours each year – enough to power 60,000 homes.

Good progress is also being made on Contact’s 168MW Tauhara Geothermal Power Station, just down the road from its Te Huka site, which will supply almost all of New Zealand’s electricity demand by the end of next year, Fuse said. 3.5% will supply.

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Fuege said Tauhara would be a world-class renewable development that would be a foundation for New Zealand’s growing renewable electricity needs over the next decade.

“Geothermal energy is an unsung hero in New Zealand, where we lead the world with our technology and ingenuity.

“Like our other geothermal power stations, Te Huka Unit 3 will operate 24/7 and generate baseload electricity. Our geothermal power stations produce 95% of the time, much more than solar, wind and hydro generation plants.

Approach Energy's Te Huka Unit 2 Geothermal Power Station with Unit 3 in the background.

Supplied/Waikato Times

Approach Energy’s Te Huka Unit 2 Geothermal Power Station with Unit 3 in the background.

Israeli engineering, procurement and construction contractor Ormat is leading the build and at the peak of construction was expected to create 250 skilled construction jobs and spend more than $140m in New Zealand, a significant portion of which will benefit the Taupo community.

Taupo Mayor David Trewavs said he appreciated Konak’s continued investment in the district.

He said the new power station project would give another big boost to the local economy and applauded Todd Generation’s proposed plans for a new 400 MW solar power station on State Highway 5 near Rangitaki.

“These are important projects happening in and around Taupo, the best part is that they are using our natural resources to power the country, and the flow-on effects for our district will be huge,” he said. said

Contact Mike Fuge, Chief Executive of Energy.

Supplied/Waikato Times

Contact Mike Fuge, Chief Executive of Energy.

Contact made a net profit of $182m, down $5 million from a year ago, according to its latest annual financial report dated June 30, 2022.

Contact also recently announced that its 44MW Te Rapa power station will close in June 2023.

The closure of the gas-fired station will reduce Contact’s greenhouse gas emissions by around 20% – the equivalent of taking 44,000 vehicles off the road.

“The closure of the Te Rapa Power Station is aligned with Liaison’s strategy to decarbonise New Zealand and demonstrates that we don’t just talk about decarbonisation, we deliver on our commitments by decarbonising the assets in our portfolio,” Fuege said. said

He said Contact’s combined Te Huka and Tauhara investments would increase its renewable electricity generation by 25% and add more than 5% to New Zealand’s total renewable electricity supply.

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