Stillwater project: a model of excellence
Enel Green Power North America developed the first solar-geothermal hybrid plant in the world whose base load and peak demand are entirely provided by renewable generation
According to the latest report published by Visiongain, in 2012 the energy market achieved 12.94 billion dollars: an amount that comprises expenses for the construction of plants, the installation of heat pumps and heating systems.
In this field Enel can count on a remarkable expertise, as regards both plant management and the exploration of new geothermal sites. Also, it has created a best practice at a global level, thanks to the Stillwater hybrid plant in Nevada.
Indeed, in this US state Enel Green Power North America built the first solar-geothermal plant in the world, integrating 89,000 polycrystalline photovoltaic modules into the Stillwater Geothermal Plant.
"Combining solar and geothermal energy is not a new concept", said Francesco Venturini, CEO of Enel Green Power North America Operations: Others have tried to develop it, but the only company that has been able to implement it on an industrial scale is Enel Green Power."
The Stillwater plant can generate a solar capacity of up to 26 MW, which can meet the needs of 16,000 households. Furthermore, another 33 MW are generated from the geothermal plant, so that the total capacity amounts to 59 MW.
The United States Department of Energy pointed out that Stillwater is the first plant that can use geothermal energy as a base load to integrate solar energy. The DOE explained that in most facilities the base load is provided by coal or natural gas.
"The result is secure supplies and the possibility of meeting the peak demand during the warmest hours of the day (thanks to solar photovoltaic), said Venturini. "We have combined the strong points of these technologies, in order to improve the overall result".
This achievement has been endorsed by the institutions: "The Stillwater plant has been approved and put into service in only six months," said Brian Sandoval, governor of the State of Nevada; "when the global community finds out about our accomplishments, it becomes aware that our State is setting a good example. We are achieving the objective of turning Nevada into a leader in renewable energy and technological innovation in the United States".
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