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Powering Net Zero Commitments

Berlin Geothermal Project - El Salvador









More about geothermal

Geothermal energy originates from the high-temperature aquifers inside the Earth’s crust at depths of between one and four kilometres. These aquifers are surrounded by porous, soft rocks and/or sand and are heated by the Earth’s heat. Hot water or steam within the aquifers could reach temperatures of over 300 degrees Celsius which can be used for heating of buildings and/or production of electricity.

Project photos

Project information

The Berlin power plant has 2 condensing units (flash power plants) of 31.4925 MW each plus a third of 42 MW.  The existing power plant is fed by 8 wells producing a two-phase fluid (steam + liquid) at around 100 kg of steam per second, 10 bar pressure and 180oC temperature. Extracted fluid is a 3-1 ratio water-steam mixture. After being fed into the turbine to generate electricity the steam is partly evaporated (80%), and partly re-injected (20%), along with the separated fluid.

The high temperature geothermal reservoir of Berlin Field produces a mixture of steam and water that is extracted through the production wells. The steam and water is separated in a cyclonic separator, then it is piped to the power station where drives the turbine to produce electric power. The steam is condensed after leaving the turbine, creating a partial vacuum and thereby maximizing the power generated by the turbine-generator. The steam is usually condensed either in a direct contact condenser. In a direct contact condenser the cooling water from the cooling tower is sprayed onto and mixed with the steam. The condensed steam then forms part of the cooling water circuit, and a substantial portion is subsequently evaporated and dispersed into the atmosphere through the cooling tower. Excess cooling water called blow down is disposed of in shallow injection wells.

The geothermal fluid transportation system includes a two phase flow pipeline connecting production wells to steam separators, the steam pipelines from separators to the plant area and the geothermal water pipelines from plant area (cooling tower) to the re-injection wells. The electricity produced by the synchronous generator is transformed from 13.8 kV to 115 kV at Berlin electric substation before to be sent to the grid. The voltage and current transformers of the electricity metering system are located at the 115 kV bus of the step-up substation that is the delivery point. The instrument transformers send the voltage and current signals to the main and secondary electricity meters located in the control room of the power plant.

The project supports the region’s broader objectives of limiting greenhouse gas emissions (which would be generated in the absence of the project) and avoidance of electricity generated from fossil fuel-fired power plants.

CO2 emissions reduction

An estimate of the project’s annual carbon emission reductions achieved.

Baseline emissions179,075 MT CO2-e

Project activity emissions


428,904 MT CO2-e

0 MT CO2-e

Overall emissions reduction150,904 MT CO2-e

Sustainable Development Goals

As a Paying.Green® member, your investment not only benefits the environment, but it also supports communities through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Long term full time employment opportunities for the local community.

This project generates “green power” through geothermal and hydro resources.

The project contributes to the generation of local employment opportunities, social investment activities, development of sustainable small businesses, and protection of the local environment..

This project results in annual estimated reduction in emissions of 150,904 MT CO2-e.

Project location

The Berlin Geothermal Field is located 100 km to the east of San Salvador, in Central America. It lays on the North Slope of the Berlin-Tecapa volcanic system.

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