This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

August 09, 2006

Two New Geothermal Power Plants Slated for Northern Nevada

Photo of a complex network of pipes and heavy machinery in a desert setting with mountains in the background. Power lines run from the plant toward the distant mountains.

The new Ormat plants will use binary power plant technology, similar to this geothermal power plant located in Empire, Nevada.
Credit: Patrick Laney, Idaho National Laboratory

Two new geothermal plants in north-central Nevada will produce as much as 60 megawatts of power when they come on line in late 2009, according to Ormat Technologies, Inc. The company announced on August 3rd that two of its subsidiaries have each signed 20-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Nevada Power Company, a subsidiary of Sierra Pacific Resources. Though the PPAs are subject to the approvals of the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Ormat expects to move ahead with the development of the two power plants, which will be located in Lander and Churchill counties. The Carson Lake and Buffalo Valley projects will both employ state-of-the-art air-cooled binary power plants that will re-inject 100 percent of the geothermal fluid produced, consuming no water or chemicals in the process. See the Ormat press release.

The agreements are the eleventh and twelfth PPAs between Ormat and Sierra Pacific Resources, and the fifth and sixth executed since the enactment of Nevada's aggressive renewable portfolio standard (RPS) legislation in 2001, which requires 20 percent of all electricity generated in Nevada be derived from new renewable energy sources by 2015. The two new PPAs will help Sierra Pacific Resources to meet the interim commitment that requires utilities to draw on renewable resources for 12 percent of their electricity production in 2009. See the summary of Nevada's RPS on the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE) Web site.