Electricity is something most, if not all of us take for granted every day. We rely on it for our comfort and also for convenience. To generate this electricity we need resources, some reusable and some not.
For the first time ever, Enel Green Power has set up a power plant that generates electricity from both geothermal and solar energy.
The project started in 2009 with Enel Green Power’s 33-megawatt geothermal plant in Northern Nevada, USA. This plant runs on geothermal energy from hot water trapped underground. Given that the area also receives a lot of sunny weather, the company decided to conduct an experiment by installing solar panels across the plant’s dry landscape. The result now is a plant that runs on both solar and geothermal energy, and it is the world’s first hybrid solar-geothermal plant.
The solar facility provides an additional 26 megawatts of energy to the plant. It makes sense to combine the two renewable sources of energy to generate electricity. By using these combined resources, plants can generate electricity 24 hours a day, with the solar panels providing the most electricity during peak hours. When there is cloud cover, or during the night, the geothermal energy comes into play, as it is not dependant on the changing weather the plant can depend on it to generate electricity at all hours.
With the world switching over to greener means of electricity generation, this hybrid plant sounds like a wonderful idea. Of course, it may not be a viable means of generating electricity everywhere, it is certainly one solution to replacing nuclear plants.