With the help of Enel Green Power North America, Nevada’s Stillwater geothermal plant has become the world’s first hybrid solar-geothermal plant. Enel Green Power installed over 89,000 solar panels with a capacity of 26 MW to the site. The geothermal plant’s combined capacity of 59 MW of clean energy is now capable of powering more than 50,000 homes.
Solar energy and geothermal energy seem to be a perfect match. Both are great sources of clean energy, but solar power needs a backup for when the sun isn’t shining. That’s where geothermal energy comes in the picture. It’s a consistent form of energy that can smooth out the gaps in solar power and during the day when demand is greatest, you have the benefit of receiving power from both sources.
The Department of Energy granted the project over $40 million in tax support through the Recovery Act. Stillwater is one of 14 geothermal sites in Nevada and Utah that received investments from the DOE to accelerate geothermal power development.
According to DOE Secretary Steven Chu : “As the first of its kind in the world, this project demonstrates how we can tap renewable energy sources to provide clean power for American families and businesses and deploy every available source of American energy.”