Geothermal Project to Power Campus and Research

Two geothermal energy awards are given jointly by the Geothermal Resource Council (GRC) and the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA), professional and trade associations, respectively. This year’s awards highlight a public-private partnership that will power an entire college campus with geothermal energy and contribute to geothermal energy research.

Ormat Technologies will be recognized with an Industry Excellence Award. The University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) will receive the Community Excellence Award for its new Renewable Energy Center. At the heart of each award is the inauguration of Ormat’s new geothermal project “Galena 1,” a part of the company’s Steamboat geothermal power complex. The project will incorporate developments in Ormat’s binary technology, including turbines and power plant equipment that can be operated either on site or remotely. “Bringing the Galena 1 power plant online signifies the resurgence of geothermal electricity development on a large scale,” said Karl Gawell, GEA Executive Director. “It will be the first of many new geothermal power plants delivering clean, reliable electricity to the citizens of Nevada and other western states.” According to Dan Schochet, Ormat VP, this new plant, along with the other power plants in the Steamboat complex, will generate enough electricity to supply the 270 thousand residents of the city of Reno, Nevada. Where the other award comes in is that the project will also enhance cooperation between Ormat and UNR’s Redfield campus and education center by providing unique research opportunities. The UNR – Renewable Energy Center of the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy is facilitating research, outreach, and community involvement in geothermal energy. UNR-REC will promote geothermal and renewable energy awareness at its multimedia center, where the public will have the opportunity to learn about and view turbines and other basic power plant parts. Ormat Nevada, which operates three geothermal power plants nearby at Steamboat Springs, will supply enough electricity and hot water to meet the campus’ heating needs and additional amounts for research purposes. “This project represents a huge breakthrough in geothermal use,” Gawell said. “UNR-REC will be the only college campus in the world completely powered by geothermal energy.”
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