US-based Chevron Corporation has started commercial production at its 110MW Darajat III geothermal power plant in Garut, West Java, Indonesia. The new unit will provide renewable energy for approximately 700,000 additional homes, the company said.

Production from the Darajat III unit, operated by Chevron’s subsidiary Chevron Geothermal Indonesia, increases the total capacity at the Darajat geothermal facility to 259MW. The combined output from Chevron’s Darajat and Salak geothermal operations now produces sufficient renewable energy to supply approximately 3.9 million homes in Indonesia.

The Darajat III unit has been approved by the United Nations as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project, as part of its Kyoto Protocol to encourage implementation of cost-effective greenhouse gas reductions. Darajat III is the largest geothermal energy project to be registered under the CDM program, Chevron revealed.

Chris Prattini, managing director of Chevron’s IndoAsia business unit, said: Chevron has had a presence in Indonesia for more than 80 years, and we are pleased to be able to bring our leading-edge technology, reservoir management skill and drilling capabilities to help develop the country’s geothermal resources for the people of Indonesia.

Chevron said that its global geothermal operations have an installed capacity of 1,273MW of geothermal energy, accounting for more than half of all privately developed capacity.