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

July 14, 2004

New 20-Megawatt Geothermal Plant Slated for Nevada

Photo of the Steamboat Yankee geothermal power plant with steam rising from its cooling towers.

ORMAT Nevada's new geothermal power plant will look much like this existing plant, which the company acquired in May.
Credit: Joel Renner, INEEL

A subsidiary of ORMAT Technologies, Inc. is planning to build a 20-megawatt geothermal power plant near Steamboat, Nevada, about 10 miles south of Reno. The Galena Geothermal 1 plant will be developed by ORNI 7, LLC, a subsidiary of ORMAT Nevada, Inc., which is itself a subsidiary of ORMAT Technologies. The Sierra Pacific Power Company announced in late June that it signed an agreement with ORNI 7 for 20 megawatts of geothermal power, starting in 2006. See the Sierra Pacific press release.

ORMAT Nevada has been busy in the state over the past year. ORMAT announced in July 2003 that it was acquiring the existing Steamboat Geothermal Complex, and announced in May that it was acquiring the sole remaining plant in the area, the Steamboat Yankee geothermal project. In addition, a map of renewable energy power plants under contract in Nevada, prepared by the Nevada State Office of Energy, shows two 20.2-megawatt plants to be built near Desert Peak, Nevada by ORNI 3, LLC and ORNI 9, LLC, which are also subsidiaries of ORMAT Nevada.

While conventional geothermal power plants are charging ahead in Nevada, a project to commercialize an advanced geothermal technology is making progress in Australia. On July 9th, Geodynamics Limited started drilling Habanero 2, the second well in its project to extract energy from hot dry rock. The first well, Habanero 1, successfully reached high-temperature rocks at depths of more than 14,000 feet, and was able to create an underground reservoir by injecting water into the rock at high pressures. Habanero 2 will drill to 15,000 feet to intercept that reservoir. Once the second well is complete, the company can extract energy from the underground rock by injecting water into one well and extracting it from the other. In May, the company announced it was using a supercomputer simulation to model the flow of water through the fractured rocks and to predict the amount of heat it will extract over time. See the Geodynamics press releases.