Italy’s Enel Green Power has announced its partnership in a US-based project amied at exploring the potential of the company’s Stillwater hybrid power plant.

The participants are interested in exploring and quantifying the benefits of integrating renewable energy technologies at the same site.

The 2 MW Stillwater Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Project is currently under construction in Fallon, Nevada and, upon completion, it will operate alongside the existing 33 MW Stillwater geothermal power plant, which is already paired with a 26 MW photovoltaic facility.
Stillwater Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Project hybrid
This is the first hybrid plant in the world able to bring together at the same site the continuous generating capacity of binary-cycle, medium-enthalpy geothermal power with solar photovoltaic and solar thermodynamic.

Enel Green Power (EGP), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Idaho National Laboratory (INL), under the oversight of the U.S. Department of Energy Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) have signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to realise the potential of the project.

Under the agreement, the integration of geothermal and CSP to generate power will be studied over the coming year. EGP, NREL, INL and the GTO will work together to model the combination of geothermal and CSP systems, validating simulated results with real-world data from the Stillwater facility. The fruits of this work will be used to explore and quantify the potential benefits of different operating strategies and integration scheme.

Construction at the Stillwater CSP plant began in April 2014, and is expected to be completed within the third quarter of this year. The concentrating solar panels field extends over 21 acres of property, just adjacent to the geothermal and photovoltaic plants.