The Geothermal Energy Association awarded Enel Green Power North America’s Hybrid plant, citing the project’s innovative technology that improves efficiency and overall operations
On June 7, the Geothermal Energy Association awarded Enel Green Power North America, Inc.'s (EGP-NA) Stillwater Hybrid plant with the 2016 "Environmental Stewardship" award, citing the project's innovative technology that is improving efficiency and overall operations.
This award recognizes the Stillwater Hybrid plant for its solar photovoltaic, solar thermal and geothermal triple-hybrid solution that captures a greater portion of the renewable resource than would be possible with individual clean energy technologies alone.
Stillwater is the first renewable energy plant to combine the continuous generating capacity of medium enthalpy, binary cycle geothermal power (33.1 MW) with solar photovoltaic (26.4 MW) and solar thermal (2 MW). The combination of these technologies creates less environmental footprint per unit of renewable energy produced and delivered, and provides enough power to meet the energy needs of 15,000 U.S. households.
"Stillwater showcases international collaboration between countries and business taking action to tackle environmental issues and climate change through renewable energy," said Rafael Gonzalez, Head of North America Area for Enel's Global Renewable Energies Division, Enel Green Power. "This award reinforces our mission to develop new technological solutions and deploy similar hybrid solutions at sites around the world using the lessons we are learning at Stillwater".
The Stillwater plant began operation in 2009 with the completion of the geothermal plant. Since then, the site has served as a hub of innovation for EGP-NA, adding a 26.4 MW solar PV unit in 2012 – at the time one of the largest PV systems of its kind in the United States – and developing a solar thermal system to operate in conjunction with the existing geothermal power station in 2015. By combining three renewable sources at the same location for the first time, EGP-NA was able to fully capitalize on already installed assets, creating a more efficient and productive overall plant, ultimately increasing the overall output at Stillwater by 3.6 percent compared to production from geothermal only. This is the first time that empirical data from a commercial hybrid plant has validated a theoretical hybrid model.
Prior to 2016's Environmental Stewardship award, the Stillwater hybrid plant was honoured four times by the GEA, in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, for Technology Advancement. With more than 100 renewable energy power plants and a total installed capacity of more than 2.5 GW, EGP-NA is a leading owner and operator of energy plants in North America, with projects in operation and under development in 22 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces.