Enel Green Power inaugurates triple renewable hybrid plant in the US

The global energy generation company Enel Green Power (EGP) has officially opened its new geothermal, solar PV and solar thermal plant at Fallon, Nevada
Enel Green Power inaugurates triple renewable hybrid plant in the US

The inauguration of the award-winning Stillwater plant in Fallon, Nevada, was attended by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Enel CEO Francesco Starace, EGP CEO Francesco Venturini and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval. The event was also attended by the Director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Dr. Martin Keller, U.S. Senator Dean Heller, US. Representative Mark Amodei and other U.S. national, state and local dignitaries.

The facility originally began operating in 2009 and received the Geothermal Energy Association Honors award for “Technology Advancement” four times in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. The 26.4 MW solar PV unit was added to the geothermal plant in 2012 and the company added a solar thermal system in 2015, thus turning the facility into a triple renewable hybrid plant. It is the first plant in the world to combine the continuous generating capacity of medium enthalpy, binary cycle geothermal power with solar PV and solar thermal and effectively paves the way for the deployment of hybrid solutions at other sites around the world.

Research conducted between March and December 2015 confirmed that the integration of a 2 MW solar thermal facility with a 33.1 MW geothermal plant increased overall output by 3.6 percent on production from geothermal only. It is the first time empirical data from a commercial hybrid plant has validated a theoretical hybrid model. The research work conducted at the site was performed under the framework of the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Idaho National Laboratory (INL), under the oversight of the US Department of Energy Geothermal Technologies Office.

“Stillwater showcases the pioneering technology innovation of Enel Green Power that is making us so successful in working with governments and business partners around the world to tackle environmental issues and climate change through renewable energy” said Enel CEO Francesco Starace. “The lessons we are learning at this advanced geothermal-solar facility will be key to the development of other hybrid plants throughout the world. We will continue to invest in new technological solutions to maximise existing assets and support further growth, maintaining innovation and operational efficiency as a key driver of our strategic plan.”

The combination of generation technologies at a single production site has increased overall energy availability while reducing intermittency. Geothermal and solar are complementary, meaning that production from solar is higher during the sunniest and hottest days of the year when the thermal efficiency of the geothermal plant is lower. The increased delivery of power during peak hours also enables a more load-following production profile while sharing infrastructure enables cost savings and reduction of the plant’s environmental impact per unit of energy produced and delivered.

Enel Green Power has operations in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia, representing a generation capacity corresponding to approximately 34 billion kWh in 2015 from water, sun, wind and geothermal. This is enough to meet the energy needs of more than 15 million households. In North America, the company owns and operates over 100 plants across 21 US states and two Canadian provinces with a total installed capacity of more than 2,500 MW generated by a diversified capacity base of wind, geothermal, solar and hydro.

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Enel Green Power (EGP)

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