Thursday, December 27, 2018

USA, Nevada: Ormat is Adding 18 MW Solar PV to its 24 MW Tungsten Mountain Geothermal Power Plant

Ormat Adopts Hybrid Solar+Geothermal Tech (Clean Technica)

Ormat Technologies, is once again going hybrid, adding solar energy to a geothermal plants to raise efficiency and to boost income from the energy off-taker, Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA). The 18 megawatt photovoltaic solar installation will cover the geothermal plant’s parasitic, or operational energy consumption, freeing up power that SCPPA agreed last year to purchase at a hefty rate of $75.50/MW-hour.

Ormat is adding the solar PV to its 24 MW baseload Tungsten Mountain geothermal power plant located in Churchill County, Nevada, that began commercial operation in December 2017. The plant is expected to generate approximately $15 million in average annual revenue.

Since the geothermal plant does not operate as efficiently at high mid-day temperatures, the PV, which peaks at mid-day, will boost the energy output to maximize the energy sold to SCPPA. In other hybrid solar-geothermal cases, thermal solar cooling lines are used to lower the temperature of the solar PV, which helps the PV maintain maximum efficiency. PV solar cells lose efficiency rapidly when the cell temperature goes above 149 degrees Fahrenheit under direct sun.

From the Global Geothermal News archives: