Ormat’s McGinness Hills Phase 3 geothermal plant begins operations

21 December 2018 (Last Updated December 21st, 2018 13:57)

Ormat Technologies has announced the start of commercial operations at its McGinness Hills Phase 3 geothermal complex located in Lander County, Nevada, US.

Ormat’s McGinness Hills Phase 3 geothermal plant begins operations
A power plant collected hot water from a geothermal spring. Credit: Christopher Porter.

Ormat Technologies has announced the start of commercial operations at its McGinness Hills Phase 3 geothermal plant located in Lander County, Nevada, in the US.

Using Ormat turbines, the third phase of the power plant generates around 48MW from two Ormat Energy Converters (OECs) instead of three OECs.

With the third phase becoming operational, the capacity of McGinness Hills geothermal plant is said to have increased to 138MW.

Ormat Technologies CEO Isaac Angel said: “As a vertically integrated company, we have the unique advantage of controlling the entire value chain of geothermal development and during the past months we have made significant efforts to bring this additional phase of 48MW in our McGinness Hills complex to commercial operation.

“The third phase of McGinness Hills, together with the projects we added during 2018, will result in a record 115MW of incremental generation, increasing our portfolio to 910MW. This growth will provide a meaningful contribution to our results in 2019 and beyond.”

"We are very pleased that Ormat Technologies has begun commercial operation of the third of ten geothermal facilities that will bring renewable power to Los Angeles."

The energy produced from the plant is supplied to Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) under the Ormat Northern Nevada Geothermal Portfolio power purchase agreement.

The third phase is expected to generate nearly $30m in average annual revenue.

SCPPA will resell the complete plant output to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP).

LADWP Power System Engineering, Planning, and Technical Services senior assistant general manager Reiko Kerr said: “We are very pleased that Ormat Technologies has begun commercial operation of the third of ten geothermal facilities that will bring renewable power to Los Angeles, helping to create a clean energy future for our city and significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Since geothermal energy is a renewable resource that is available all the time, unlike variable wind and solar energy, it offers flexibility and the ability to dispatch for use whenever it’s needed. That helps LADWP to make the transition away from coal power while maintaining a reliable power supply for Los Angeles.”