Ormat’s 20 MW Geothermal Plant First under Nevada RPS

Ormat Technologies’ subsidiary, Ormat Nevada Inc., commissioned the first geothermal power plant constructed in Nevada under the Nevada Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) legislation, eight months after its groundbreaking.

The 20 MW plant, said to be state of the art, was renamed in honor of Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn’s late energy advisor Richard Burdette, who Guinn said was instrumental in enabling “clean geothermal energy from this plant to reach the citizens of Nevada.” The plant, formerly known as the Galena 1 Project, is integrated into the existing Steamboat Geothermal Complex bringing the total output supplied from Steamboat to Sierra Pacific Power to 45 MW, enough power for 45,000 homes. It is an air-cooled binary power plant that re-injects 100 percent of all geothermal fluid produced, and consumes no water or chemicals. Contrary to wind power plants, it works continuously, providing base load power. “Ormat is producing power and selling it to us at rates that are competitive with our ability to generate it with fossil fuels, or buy it in the open wholesale market, while avoiding the impact of fuel price fluctuations,” said Roberto Denis of Sierra Pacific. Guinn noted that Ormat has proven to be one of the best companies at building and operating geothermal projects. He commended Sierra Pacific for stepping up and purchasing the power produced by such geothermal plants. “Without these agreements, financing and building these plants would be impossible.” Richard Moorer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, said that this facility represents the future of geothermal energy and will take geothermal to the next level. He also noted that the US Department of Energy is proud of its partnership with Ormat, which dates back to the Ormesa Project in the Imperial Valley of California in 1981, a project that validated the feasibility of large-scale commercial binary power plants.

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