4 February 2010 - Ormat Technologies, Inc. (ORA) issued an update on its 30 MW Puna power plant in Hawaii. Puna is currently operating at approximately 17 MW as a result of a decline of the steam supply to the power plant. This decline is resulting in a monthly revenue decrease of less than $1 million based on current energy rates. Energy rates for the Puna power plant are based on the short run avoided cost of the local utility and are calculated monthly.
The plant generated 25 MW following the completion of repair work on production wells in the fourth quarter of 2009 and was expected to recover to approximately 30 MW. However, the actual steam supply gradually declined and in January 2010 the plant reached a generation level of 17 MW.
A company analysis of the current situation determined that the decline is not related to the reservoir parameters. Company officials believe the issue is a wellbore restriction that reduces the flow from the existing wells to the power plant. The company is in the process of implementing a repair through a chemical cleaning of the wells. If this is not successful the company will have to perform a mechanical cleaning, which will be more expensive and take more time.