Lava covers wells at Hawaii geothermal plant - Smart Energy Decisions

Sourcing Renewables  -  May 29, 2018

Lava covers wells at Hawaii geothermal plant

Lava from the ongoing Kilauea volcano eruptions on the Big Island of Hawaii has covered two wells at the Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV), though civil defense officials say no release of hydrogen sulfide has been detected at the plant.

A report by Hawaii News Now said the lava flow stalled after covering the two wells over the weekend. "All of the production wells nearest to the lava flow are plugged and shut in," said Mike Kaleikini, plant spokesman. "As long as conditions are safe, we will have personnel on site. The primary concern is sulfur dioxide from the eruption and lava cooing on site." The site is monitored for hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide on a continuous basis.

PGV officials say that ten of the 11 wells were quenched, a process in which the well is injected with water to cool and depressurize it, according to the report. The 11th well was plugged with bentonite clay when quenching efforts were unsuccessful.

The report noted, "PGV officials have conceded they don’t know if hydrogen sulfide is the only possible hazard the community could face if lava interacts with their wells."

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