Taiwan and the Search for Green Gold: an update from the field.
It’s been just over a year now since we started our business development work in Taiwan. If everything continues to go according to plan, we will complete the drilling at our first site in early October. When we bring the Climeon modules online next year, this will be the first commercial, private geothermal power plant with a MW capacity in Taiwan.
It’s hard to understate how exciting this is. We are making history here. The completed plant will have an uptime of close to 100%, and will continue to produce green electricity for generations.
So much has happened in so little time that we’ve barely had time to document it. For anyone wondering, “What exactly is happening over there in Taiwan?” - this is a quick recap.
In the U.S., Rockefeller wasn’t the first person to drill for oil. Nor are we the only company drilling for heat righ
t now. One other company is also trying to help Taiwan meet its goal of 200MW of geothermal power by 2025. Both our companies are using the same map, a rec
ord of wells that the China Petroleum Corporation drilled some 30 years ago. The map contains 34 spots where they found water, but no gas or oil. We were able to use this map to determine suitable sites with the prerequisites for Climeon’s modules: that is to say, a hot water source.
Nor were we the first companies the first to follow the CPC’s map. In fact, the owners of the land we are now leasing for our first site are geologists who performed their own drilling some years ago. In the early stages of our business development work, they were among the endless number of landlords, consultants and partners we spoke to. They were early prospectors, if you will, in the hunt for green gold.
The site of our first plant is a flat area, located in the countryside about a 4-hour’s car ride from bustling Taipei. As of this article, we have been drilling there since last Saturday and have already reached 207 meters after 5 days. We are planning to drill down to 1200 meters, but if w
e find the right conditions in more shallow terrain, all the better.
Before the drilling is complete we will make three wells: one which we call the “production well,” from which we will draw the hot water to power the Climeon module. The second, “reinjection well” is where we will return the water to the earth once it exists the module. The third well is a much shallower well, from which we will draw cool water.
This project has involved quite a lot of “firsts”. For starters, the government didn’t know how to approve our permits, because no one has approached them about it before! Nor was it as easy to get the grid agreements as we had anticipated, because no one knew who we were. Later, when the drilling equipment began to arrive, the local villagers got a bit scared and one night the police came to investigate the noise. We had to listen to everyone, and address these concerns.
There is simply no blueprint for what we are doing, but we are constantly learning, and everything we learn will help us at the next site. Which is already underway! Indeed, we are already developing two other sites, and evaluating another five. If all goes well, before long, we will be installing 10-15 power plants per year. We couldn’t have done all these without the support of our investors, consultants, partners and families – and all of you who believe in a green baseload, who are cheering from the sidelines. Thank you!
Chairman and CEO at Baseload Power Taiwan Inc.