Beyond traditional concepts
The Stillwater renewable plant, in the Nevada desert (USA), is an example of how the best technological development originates from necessity and from the wish to experiment. Launched by Enel in 2009 as an air-cooled binary cycle geothermal plant, it has undergone drastic changes over the years, becoming an example of innovation.
The plant's original configuration did not make it competitive enough to meet expectations. Therefore, we studied solutions that would increase its efficiency and performances.
Overcoming the traditional concept of clean energy generation from a single source, we have turned Stillwater into a hybrid plant that combines more than one renewable technology at the same site.
“The Stillwater plant is first in its kind because it combines geothermal, solar PV and concentrated solar power at the same site”
Union produces efficiency and sustainability
The Stillwater plant is the first of its kind in the world. It combines 26,4 MW of solar PV (the field was completed in 2012), 2 MW of concentrated solar power (the facility was built in 2014) and 33 MW of capacity from the original geothermal plant.
We have combined the continuous generation capacity of binary-cycle medium-enthalpy geothermal with the peak generation of solar power at the same site. Thanks to this hybridation we can respond with greater efficiency to the energy needs of the Churchill county inhabitants, for whom the energy generated by the plant is destined.
Additionally, combining various renewable technologies at the same site enables us to use the same infrastructure, such as electric power lines, with a further reduction of the environmental impact.
“The United States Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) considers the hybrid plant 'a critical milestone for the renewable energy industry”
An Oscar-winning hope
The United States government acknowledged the Stillwater plant as an example and a hope for the development of renewable sources in this country, including it in the 2012 Recovery Act.
The United States Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) considers this hybrid plant as 'a critical milestone for the renewable energy industry' and 'a benchmark for innovation and research that is driving the future of the geothermal industry'.
In 2015 Stillwater was awarded the GEA Honors - a sort of Oscar for geothermal power in the USA - for the fourth consecutive year, as a specific acknowledgement of the continuous technological development that is characterising its development.