Sustainability in Hilo

Caveat: There is not much information from today as we did not do very much. Also, there are no pictures because the place we went would not allow photography of any kind.

Puna Geothermal Venture is a power plant that supplies 20% (I believe) of the energy consumed in the Hilo area. We got the chance to go and visit their control room and get talked through the process by one of the lead technicians. Unfortunately, due to safety concerns, we weren’t allowed out to see the plant, but we got a pretty good idea of how it worked.

The PGV drills wells 4-6,000 miles into the crust creating an artesian well. They then collect the steam and water that comes up and allow it to go into a separater and the water gets injected back down into the ground through a 5-7,000 foot-deep well. It then goes through a series of other separaters and turbines until a generator can get the steam and convert it into usable energy. The plant produces around 30 megawatts per 24-hour period. They are currently working to drill another well and up that to 38.5 megawatts per 24-hour period. They are a private company but are contracted by the government. The state of Hawai’i is very supportive of geothermal energy use and pushes PGV to work harder and produce more, which makes PGV really happy.

After that trip we went back to our houses and stayed inside during a huge rain storm and had dinner. Now we are worried about getting homework done and studying for our first test on Monday as well as updating our Facebook pages and contacting family and friends.

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