The New York Stock Exchange-traded company Ormat Technologies (NYSE:ORA) has built what’s being cited as the world’s largest geothermal plant. Geothermal plants tap into heat emitted by the earth’s core, turning this otherwise wasted heat into electricity. The 100 MW plant now online in New Zealand is being called the world’s largest: the Ngatamariki geothermal power plant cost $142 million USD to build ($12 million off target) and it is the biggest “singular binary power plant” ever constructed.
Ormat says its energy converters are fed by a high temperature (380°F / 193°C) geothermal fluid. But until now only steam turbines or a hybrid combination using steam (and water) were in use. This new plant doesn’t use water, thereby keeping underground water reservoirs intact, and emissions low, the company reports.
The plant was built in two years and will reach an annual output of 700 GWH, about enough energy to power 80,000 homes in New Zealand.
Active over decades in Israel, Ormat has installed a total of about 350 MW of geothermal energy power plants in 14 sites in New Zealand already. Around the world, its sum total of geothermally-produced energy is about 1600 MW.
Ormat officially based in the US, but with its operations and R&D in Israel. It has benefitted from Solyndra loans, offered by the US government to create clean energy in Nevada.
Read more on geothermal energy:
Ormat Set to Release Alaska’s Geothermal Energy Potential
Ormat Lands Its Largest Geothermal Deal in New Zealand
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