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Costa Rica inaugurates Las Pailas II geothermal plant, boosts sustainable energy production

July 24, 2019

Costa Rica on Tuesday inaugurated Palais II, a geothermal plant in Curubandé de Liberia, Guanacaste that “places the country at the forefront” of sustainable energy infrastructure.

A news release from Casa Presidencial called Palais II “the most modern plant of its kind” in Central America. It is the seventh plant in Costa Rica that creates useable energy from volcanic steam.

Palais II has an installed capacity of 55 megawatts and a projected annual generation of 410 gigawatt hours.

Construction on the plant started in April 2013, and it finished over-budget and behind schedule, according to the daily La Nación. Still, President Carlos Alvarado called the project a success and said Costa Ricans should be proud of the country’s sustainability efforts.

“Anyone who has doubt of what Costa Rica is capable of should come to Pailas II in Guanacaste and see what we are capable of accomplishing,” said President Alvarado.

Costa Rica now boasts 262 megawatts of installed geothermal capacity from Las Pailas II and its other geothermal plants — Miravalles I, Miravalles II, Miravalles III, Miravalles V, Boca de Pozo and Las Pailas I. 

That is the third-largest geothermal capacity in the Americas, according to Casa Presidencial.

“Today, we see the most recent fruit of four decades of experience, which have made Costa Rica a world power in the sustainable use of geothermal energy,” said Irene Cañas, the executive president of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE).

Over the past several years, Costa Rica has generated the vast majority of its electricity from renewable sources, including geothermal power.

In mid-2018, ICE detailed that about 75% of renewable energy in Costa Rica comes from hydroelectric plants using river water, 12% is geothermal, 11% comes from wind power, and less than 1% comes from biomass and solar power.

 

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