Guatemala - Electricity Generation

The geothermal accessible resource potential of Guatemala is about 1,000 MWe, as evaluated in several country assessment studies made by Unidad de Desarrollo Geotémico- Instituto Nacional del Electrificatión (UDG-INDE), with the identification of 14 promising areas, located in the Volcanic chain. Two geothermal fields, Zunil and Amatitán (28 and 24 MWe respectively) are currently under production, operated by INDE and Ormat through the controlled company Orzunil (Asturias and Grajeda, 2010).

Development since WGC2010: no new plants commissioned.

Installed capacity 52 MWe
Geothermal Electricity 237 GWh/y

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


Installed geothermal generating capacity (December 2009) in MW

Amatitlán24
Zunil I28
Total52

In this country the geothermal resource is present in two fields, Zunil and Amatitán. The decline of production since year 2000, due to low permeability and poor hydro geological connection between reinjection and production (from 200 GWh down to 142 GWh in 2006), has been partly recovered and a new 24 MW binary unit has been installed in Amatitlán. The increment on 2005 in percentage was significant (about 58%). The two fields are operated by Instituto Nacional de Electrificatión (INE) and Ormat.

Zunil, located to the west of Guatemala City, is divided in two areas; the first is the most developed until now, with temperatures up to 300°C , and an estimated capacity of 50 MW whereas the second one, with 240°C has an estimated capacity of 50 MW; there are 28 MW installed, but only 16 MW running, due to reservoir decline.

Drilling and testing new wells is in progress. Amatitlán geothermal area is located about 25 km to the south of Guatemala City in the active volcanic chain. This field, with 285°C of temperature, has an estimation of a total capacity of 200 MW. After the decommissioning old 5 MW backpressure unit (to be moved to Zunil), a new 24 MW binary plant at Amatitlán has been commissioned in 2007, and a second one is under construction.

An exploration of the Tecuamburro field, aimed to a 40 MW project, is currently under preliminary stage of permitting. Also in Moyuta area there is a development project. The two sites are under exploration by Enel Green Power.  

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.