Costa Rica - Electricity Generation

Since the last WGC2010, geothermal development and exploration in the country have seen great development. The Miravalles Geothermal Field is continuing its productivity life (165 MWe) and the first unit of Las Pailas Geothermal Field has been commissioned in 2011 (42 MWe), and a second is planned, as well as in Borinquen and Pocosol. Geothermal energy continues to be a baseload for the electrical system in Costa producing 15% of the total electrical generation of the country (Sanchez-Rivera and Vallejos-Ruiz, 2015).

Development since WGC2010: Las Pailas, 42 MWe.

Installed capacity 207 MWe
Geothermal Electricity 1,511 GWh/y

Source:  Ruggero Bertani, Geothermal Power Generation in the World 2010-2014 Update Report


Installed geothermal generating capacity (December 2009) in MW

Miravalles 165

No new power plant has been added to the country geothermal capacity, which is 165 MW at Miravalles (figure 12), producing 13% of the country electricity. Costa Rica has a very important mix of renewable energy generation, with hydro accounted for 80% of the total electricity, and wind for additional 2%.

The exploitation of Miravalles, from Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), with temperature of about 240°C, started in 1994, and it has reached its steady state in 2003. Two new projects are at different stage of planning: 41 MW at Las Pailas (a binary plant from reservoir fluid at 260°C is under advanced construction) and a feasibility plan has been completed and finalized at Borinquen, on the same volcanic system of Rincón de la Vieja. The expected installed capacity of the country will overcome 200 MW in few years.

Taken from Ruggero Bertani’s paper, " Geothermal Power Generation in the World  2005–2010 Update Report ", published in Proceedings of the World Geothermal Congress 2010, Bali, Indonesia, 25-29 April 2010.