Enel Green Power North America is combining solar and geothermal at its Stillwater Geothermal plant in Churchill, County, Nevada.
This is the first renewable energy project in the US that combines base load geothermal energy with the peak capacity of solar. Combining the technologies takes advantage of each of their strengths, providing a better match for electricity demand in the communities it serves. The projects can also share power lines and operational facilities, reducing costs and environmental impact.
Enel received final approval to build a solar plant on 240 acres next to its geothermal site. Over 81,000 polycrystalline photovoltaic (PV) panels will generate 24 MW of peak energy. The geothermal plant has been operating since 2009. The Stillwater Hybrid facility will sell all the electricity to NV Energy under a long term purchase agreement.
Enel owns two geothermal plants in Churchill County, Nevada – the only geothermal plants in the world that use large scale electric submersible pumps to extract geothermal fluid, which minimize water use.