Gaining steam

In 2006, Nicaragua suffered an energy crisis, with countrywide blackouts lasting from four to 12 hours a day, because the country was too dependent on imported fuel oil. As a result, the Nicaraguan government embarked on an aggressive plan to dramatically increase the percentage of electricity coming from indigenous, renewable sources. This article discusses the effort involved in launching the San Jacinto-Tizate geothermal drilling and power generation project near the city of León. In doing so, it describes the drilling of wells and installing stations responsible for separating steam from hot water for the steam field and the construction of a 13-kilometer (8.1-mile) transmission line to connect the plant to the national grid. It then explains the challenges encountered by the project, which was beset with cost overages and major financial hurdles. It then reports how a design change was implemented, which resulted in the alteration of the construction sequence. The article overviews how a diversified geot
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