Last week, Enel Green Power inaugurated its solar-geothermal plant at Stillwater, Nevada. It is the world’s first plant of this kind.
The Stillwater facility combines 26 MW of photovoltaic solar generating capacity with 33 MW of baseload geothermal power, demonstrating how a single power plant can deliver renewable peak and baseload power. Currently, utilities often use renewable energy sources like solar power during hours of peak consumer demand, and combine it with a "baseload" coal or natural gas plant to ensure a steady power supply. The facility provides 59 megawatts (MW) of combined capacity to power more than 50,000 local homes.
The project was built on the existing Stillwater geothermal plant, which opened in the area on 2009. The original facility had a generation capacity of 33 MW of geothermal power. To provide the solar energy, Enel Green Power North America (EGP) installed more than 89,000 polycrystalline photovoltaic panels on a 240-acre parcel of land adjacent to the Stillwater geothermal plant, which opened in 2009.