The First Geothermal Power Plant Will Be Built in Armenia

The First Geothermal Power Plant Will Be Built in Armenia

Finally, there will be a new, alternative, renewable geothermal, basic and relatively cheaper electricity source in Armenia.

It is planned to build a geothermal power plant in Karkar, Syunik province, where the heat from the earth's own molten core can be converted into electricity.

Syuniq province in Armenia is rich in geothermal resources, where Karkar, Jermaghbjur and Sisian geothermal mines are the most famous ones. The research works of such kind of geothermal resources in the area of Karkar had begun yet in Soviet Union. But they have become practical only in recent years. In 2015 July 21, the agreement on ''Geothermal Exploration Drilling Project'' signed between the RA and the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development was approved by presidential decree of RA.

Deepwater drilling works started in July 2016. The drilling works of the first wells with the depth of 1500m and the second well of 1682m have been completed. The experiments and relevant analyzes connected with the project have been finished, too.

The reports of the drilling results have been provided to nearly 50 major international organizations specialized in the field of geothermal energy. The total cost of the geothermal power plant construction project at Karkar site is expected to make about $100 million. Karkar geothermal power plant with a capacity of 30 MW will generate around 250 million kWh of electricity in a year. Currently, the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Fund of RA is taking steps to find investors for the construction of a geothermal power plant. Preference will be given to those investor-companies which will offer the lowest price for the produced electricity.

Investigations have been launched to reveal the precise sites of geothermal energy sources for construction of geothermal power plant. One of these sites is Jermaghbyur, where according to geological and geophysical explorations high pressure (20-25 atmosphere pressure) hot water (up to 2500C) resources are considered to be available in depth of 2500-3000 meters.

Geothermal energy was first used in Italy in 1904. Today, similar power stations are operating in Iceland, New Zealand, Japan, Mexico, the United States, Kamchatka (Russia), the Philippines and in a number of other locations.