The world’s first Solar-Geothermal Hybrid power plant has been inaugurated in the town of Fallon, Nevada. Just ten months ago Nevada Senator Harry Reid announced that the addition of solar panels to the existing Stillwater geothermal plant would create the pioneering hybrid renewable energy facility, which can now produce 59MW of clean power, enough to power thousands of homes.

stillwater geothermal solar plant, geothermal power, solar power, hybrid plant, geothermal solar plant, nevada solar, nevada geothermal, harry reid, energy secretary chu, solar-geothermal hybrid plant, enel

As part of recent installations at the geothermal plant, a large solar array was added, which not only made it a hybrid power plant, but added an extra 26 MW to the plant’s output. With the additional 89,000 solar panels, the plant’s combined capacity is now 59 MW of clean energy capable of powering thousands of homes.

In a statement, the US Department of Energy (DOE) said that “the Stillwater geothermal project, which received $40 million in tax support under the Recovery Act, has harnessed innovative technologies to add solar energy to the facility and provide 59 megawatts (MW) of combined capacity to power more than 50,000 local homes.”

Energy Secretary Steven Chu added that “as the first of its kind in the world, this project demonstrates how we can tap renewable energy sources to provide clean power for American families and businesses and deploy every available source of American energy. Supported in part by the Recovery Act, the Fallon facility is expanding domestic renewable energy sources and helping to build the infrastructure we need to stay competitive in the global race for clean energy technologies.”

As well as diversifying the nation’s energy mix and reducing pollution,  the Stillwater plant is advancing local economic growth. A recent study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory that examined the economic benefit of the program, estimated that it has created up to 75,000 jobs nationwide in design, construction and manufacturing and $44 billion in total economic output.

The new solar-geothermal hybrid power plant was built by Enel, one of the world’s largest power plant developers and will serve as a test run for future, similar hybrid projects.

+ US Department of Energy (DOE)

via Clean Technia

Lead Image courtesy the Nevada State Office of Energy