Economic assessment of potential geothermal resource areas

Environment Capital Managers Inc.
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Environment Capital Managers Inc.
Introduction Pursuant to Act 296, SLH 1983, this study was conducted using only available public information. To facilitate this economic assessment, two assumptions are made: (1) a 20 to 30 megawatt(MW) plant would be constructed, and (2) the application of the geothermal wells would be for the production of electricity for local consumption only. Economic Impacts The overall assessment is that a 20 to 30 MW geothermal power plant will have some economic impact on a State-wide and County-wide basis, but the impact would probably not be significant. Based upon the data available, the direct wages to the 25 direct project employees will be about $560,000 per year. This direct income will stimulate a multiplier effect totalling an estimated $1.3 million. Additionally, an estimated 57 additional jobs will be created. Public Revenue and Cost Analysis The selected sources of public revenue analyzed will not yield a significant amount, in relative terms as well as in absolute ones, due to the size of the plant. However, only after a more complete analysis of the public revenue and public or community resource cost of a specific development will it be known whether the public revenues will outweigh the public costs. Overall, the impact of the 25 additional households to the community will be primarily in the housing market, assuming that all the 25 workers needed by the plant come from outside the County. Realistically, only a portion will be "imported" into the County. Thus the impact on housing is not expected to be as great. Other community resources will not be affected in a significant manner. Other Considerations The assumption that the plant would be used solely for the production of electricity for local consumption would be a fairly accurate one for the plant size of 20 to 30 MW being considered here. Direct use and other applications would alter the plant size requirements. In addition, more significant impacts on the economy would occur, both benefits and costs: more jobs, increased public revenue, increased housing and infrastructure demands, etc. Conclusion Regardless of the ultimate size of the plant decided upon, a site-specific analysis will be better able to provide a more definitive assessment of the relative gain or loss to be realized by the existence of the geothermal plant.
geothermal power development, geothermal power plants, geothermal resource assessments, Hawaii
Environment Capital Managers Inc. 1984. Economic assessment of potential geothermal resource areas. Honolulu (HI): Environment Capital Managers Inc.
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