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Power of the earth: A similar power plant to the Mokai power station in New Zealand is planned for the Mid West.
SUPPLIED Power of the earth: A similar power plant to the Mokai power station in New Zealand is planned for the Mid West.

Green Rock Energy has been awarded $5.38 million in State Government funding to develop a geothermal power project in the Mid West.

Executive chairman Richard Beresford said the announcement was a “substantial step” toward commercialising geothermal resources in the Mid West.

Environment Minister Bill Marmion announced the company had been successful in gaining funds from the State’s Low Emission Energy Development initiative.

Mr Beresford said the company would work with the State Government to encourage a significant contribution to the State’s electricity demand.

“We consider the project to be a strong contender for the Commonwealth’s Emerging Renewables funding,” he said.

“This would address the lack of private investor appetite in Australia for the drilling necessary to demonstrate commercial production of geothermal energy.”

Green Rock is partnered with Pacific Hydro.

Both companies are set to develop their own geothermal projects in the Mid West and South Australia together.

They will develop a geothermal-fuelled power plant with an initial capacity of 25MW and potential to expand.

Green Rock plans to drill the first well next year.

It will work on looking at identification of the best zones and flow rates for commercial geothermal fluid production.

Work is also under way with other companies with plans for petroleum wells on the North Perth Basin to secure a suitable drilling rig.