The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced Thursday that it has provided funds for a Colombian utility company to begin work on Colombia’s first geothermal power project.
The IDB has provided a $2.8 million grant that will enable ISAGEN, a Colombian utility company, to investigate the geothermal potential of the Macizo Volcanico del Ruiz, a volcanic portion of Colombia’s central mountain chain. If drilling and test results are positive, ISAGEN will build a 50 megawatt power in the region.
The IDB will also work with the Colombian government to develop a framework of regulation that will foster geothermal projects and remove barriers to their construction. The IDB will also work with the government to identify sources of geothermal power and create a database for future power plant construction.
Colombia is thought to have significant supplies of untapped geothermal power. Colombia, part of the Ring of Fire, is home to many active volcanoes. In 1985, 23,000 Colombians were killed in pyclastic flows and landslides when the Nevada del Ruiz volcano erupted.
Colombia currently receives 70% of its power from hydroelectric facilities.