REW crowns 15 MW Ormat Jersey Valley as geothermal project of 2010
Renewable Energy World crowns the 15 MW Jersey Valley geothermal power plant project by Ormat Technologies as the Geothermal Project of the Year. The plant is the only one that came online in the U.S. in 2010.
In a rather slow year for geothermal development in the U.S. – so Renewable Energy World – one project that went online in 2010 now was crowned “Geothermal Project of the Year” by the publication. Among other projects for other technologies, Ormat’s Jersey Valley Geothermal Power Plant was named “geothermal energy project of the year.
The company Ormat Technologies, Inc. “successfully brought online its 15MW Jersey Valley geothermal power plant in December. Jersey Valley was the only utility-scale geothermal plant completed in 2010.
The project, known as a Greenfield geothermal project, began in 2006 and encountered a number of obstacles along its development path. A Greenfield geothermal project is defined as an area where the productivity of a geothermal field is unknown; similar to drilling for oil where no oil has ever been found.
Located at the northern end of Dixie Valley, Jersey Valley rests along the Pershing-Lander County, Nev. line. The geothermal area encompasses the Jersey Valley Mining District that had been the focus of gold and silver mining and mineral exploration since the district was founded in 1873. Ormat’s geothermal power plant is located next to the remains of one of these old mining settlements.
Initial testing on the site indicated a good resource but once drilling actually began, engineers realized that the resource was potentially much larger and more complex than they had anticipated. This resulted in a flurry of activities that needed to be accomplished to accommodate the new, more complex model than the one that had been predicted. Engineers needed to reevaluate exploration techniques by calibrating the models from drilling results.
Today, construction is complete and Jersey Valley is utilizing the Ormat Energy Converter to generate electricity. Throughout this project, the team’s ability to adapt to the changing resource models proved key to completing the project on time.
“While Ormat encountered problems with potential to halt the project, something typical of the geothermal industry, the company accomplished this feat because it has the tools needed to create positive results when the situation may not be ideal,” the company said in its nomination statement.”
Source: Renewable Energy World