Chair in Geothermal Reservoir Engineering announced

22 November 2011

Mighty River Power is investing in the continued development of New Zealand’s expertise and research into geothermal power generation by entering into an agreement with The University of Auckland to sponsor a newly established Chair in Geothermal Reservoir Engineering.

Mighty River Power’s General Manager Development, Mark Trigg, said the Company’s sponsorship would provide funding of $1 million over a five year period to the role – known as the Mighty River Power Chair in Geothermal Reservoir Engineering - supporting the rebirth of the University’s internationally renowned Geothermal Institute.

“The University of Auckland is among the top Universities in the world for geothermal engineering research and education – an area of high importance to our business. The re-establishment of the Geothermal Institute will provide vital impetus to the building of New Zealand’s geothermal capacity, both in terms of a greater number of graduates with the skills sought by Mighty River Power, and also in building a greater depth of geothermal knowledge in New Zealand,” said Mr Trigg.

Professor Michael Davies, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, said the Geothermal Institute is a cross-faculty centre with a focus on research and education related to the exploration and utilisation of geothermal energy resources.

“Since 1978, more than 850 students from over 50 countries have graduated from the Geothermal Institute with a world recognised qualification in geothermal energy – with many graduates going on to become leaders in the industry. We recognise the important role the University has to play in the Government’s plan for geothermal development and are very pleased that Mighty River Power’s support and expertise will take us closer to fulfilling that role,” he said.

Mighty River Power is recognised as one of the world’s leading geothermal developers, investing over $1 billion over the past 5 years in domestic geothermal developments and deploying a further $466 million to construct the new Ngatamariki power station near Taupo. The Company also has projects in the US, Chile and Germany through its investment in the GeoGlobal Energy (GGE) Fund - the first of which, Hudson Ranch Power 1 in the Imperial Valley of Southern California, will come to market in 2012.

A search panel, including a representative from Mighty River Power, will be established to appoint the Chair, with applications expected from all over the world. It is anticipated the new professor will be appointed during the first half of 2012.