Baseload, Geothermal, Utility Scale

Association Recognizes Leaders in Geothermal Technology

The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) recently selected Enel Green Power North America for an environmental stewardship award for the Stillwater Hybrid project in Churchill County, Nevada.

Enel’s project was selected as part of GEA Honors 2016, a program that recognizes individuals and companies that have made significant contributions to the development of the geothermal industry.

Stillwater is the first renewable energy plant in the world to combine the continuous generating capacity of medium enthalpy, binary cycle geothermal power (33.1 MW) with solar PV (26.4 MW) and solar thermal (2MW). According to the GEA, the combination of these technologies creates less environmental footprint per unit of renewable energy produced and delivered. The hybrid solution improves plant efficiency and captures a greater portion of the renewable resource than would be possible with individual clean energy technologies alone. The combination of the three technologies allowed the Stillwater plant to cut CO2 emissions by about 140,000 metric tons/year, and provided enough power to meet the energy needs of 15,000 U.S. households.

GEA also selected the University of North Dakota/U.S. Department of Energy for a technological advancement award, and BHE Renewables for an economic development award.

The University of North Dakota/U.S. Department of Energy was selected for their work on the first commercial project co-producing geothermal power from an oil and gas well. The facility started generating electricity for the first time in late April. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that “25 billion barrels of hot water are produced annually from oil and gas wells in the United States.”

BHE Renewables developed an innovative contract structure that supports long-term investment that will keep the company’s geothermal generation facilities operating at the Salton Sea Known Geothermal Resource Area. According to the GEA, the company’s efforts provide assurances that the 224 jobs that operate and maintain BHE Renewables’s 10 geothermal plants, and the many more jobs in the community that they support, will be retained and the tax revenue streams that they provide will continue for another 20 years.

The GEA also gave special recognition to:

  • Jay Nathwani of the US Department of Energy for lifetime achievement
  • The Peppermill Resort and Casino for being the only resort in the United States whose heating source is totally provided from geothermal energy produced on the immediate property
  • Ormat Technologies for successfully bringing two U.S. geothermal plant online in 2015—Don A. Campbell and McGinness Hills Complex
  • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory team including Anna Wall, Annika Eberla, and Garvin Heath and the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) for their past and ongoing efforts to understand the carbon emissions from geothermal resources and different power facilities
  • Governor John Hickenlooper for advancing geothermal in Colorado

Lead image credit: martin_vmorris | Flickr