Van Hoang, Chairman and CEO of Baseload Power Taiwan Inc., the Taiwan regional representation of Swedish Baseload Capital shares the background on the company’s start into geothermal in Taiwan.
The company was established to develop private geothermal projects with modules provided by Swedish ORC technology supplier Climeon. The company is planning to set up a plant with a capacity of around 1 MW in power generation capacity becoming the first commercial, private geothermal power plant.
To start with the company accessed a heat map of Taiwan that was created with records of wells drilled by the China Petroleum Corporation some 30 years ago. According to the data, there were 34 spots that were identified to have found only water yet no gas or oil. With this map, Baseload Capital has determined suitable sites that would allow the utilisation of the units provided by Climeon for power generation down to a temperature of around 70-80 degrees Celsius.
Another private player has also been using the map and now has development plans of up to 200 MW by 2025.
Baseload Capital’s first project has kicked off with drilling last week on a site in the countryside of Taiwan around 4-hours from Taipei. As of August 24, 2020, the company reached 207 meters in its five days of drilling with plans to drill to 1,200 meters.
“Before the drilling is complete we will make three wells: one which we call the “production well,” from which we will draw the hot water to power the Climeon module. The second, “reinjection well” is where we will return the water to the earth once it exists the module. The third well is a much shallower well, from which we will draw cool water.” so Van Hoang.
“This project has involved quite a lot of “firsts”. For starters, the government didn’t know how to approve our permits, because no one has approached them about it before! Nor was it as easy to get the grid agreements as we had anticipated, because no one knew who we were. Later, when the drilling equipment began to arrive, the local villagers got a bit scared and one night the police came to investigate the noise. We had to listen to everyone, and address these concerns.
There is simply no blueprint for what we are doing, but we are constantly learning, and everything we learn will help us at the next site. Which is already underway! Indeed, we are already developing two other sites, and evaluating another five. If all goes well, before long, we will be installing 10-15 power plants per year. We couldn’t have done all these without the support of our investors, consultants, partners and families – and all of you who believe in a green baseload, who are cheering from the sidelines. Thank you!”