U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Geothermal Technologies Office

Ormat Commissions 20-Megawatt Geothermal Power Plant in Nevada

November 23, 2005

Only eight months after breaking ground, Ormat Nevada Inc. commissioned a new 20-megawatt geothermal power plant in Nevada on November 14th. According to Ormat, the plant is the first geothermal facility built in the state under Nevada's renewable portfolio standard (RPS) legislation, which set minimum requirements for the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources. See the Ormat press release.

Another company working to develop Nevada's geothermal sources is Nevada Geothermal Power, Inc. The company has been drilling geothermal wells at its site in Pumpernickel Valley, about 30 miles east of Winnemucca in north-central Nevada. As of last week, the company had completed four wells with partial funding from DOE. Although the hottest well produced temperatures of only 178 degrees Fahrenheit, the company plans to extend that well deeper into the geothermal resource next year. The company is also negotiating with Nevada utilities on a power contract for its proposed 30-megawatt Blue Mountain Geothermal Project, to be located west of Winnemucca. The company is seeking permits to drill seven production wells at the site. See the November 2nd and November 15th press releases from Nevada Geothermal Power.

Renewable energy goals are also driving a new $200 million project to boost power transmission from California's Imperial Valley to Los Angeles. The "Green Path Project" will upgrade existing transmission lines and create new interconnection points, allowing greater access to geothermal energy and other renewable energy sources. According to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), the project will benefit residents and businesses in Los Angeles, Imperial, San Diego, and Riverside Counties. See the LADWP press release.