Enel Green Power (EGP) has signed a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with two US National Laboratories to explore the potential of EGP’s innovative Stillwater hybrid power plant.

As part of the agreement, signed with National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Idaho National Laboratory (INL) under the oversight of the US Department of Energy Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO), the team will use empirical data from the Stillwater geothermal / solar project.

Currently under construction in Fallon, Nevada, US, the 2MW Stillwater concentrated solar power (CSP) project will be operated alongside the existing 33MW Stillwater geothermal power plant, which is already paired with a 26MW photovoltaic facility.

Under the agreement, the team will study the integration of geothermal and CSP to generate power over the next year.

EGP, NREL, INL and the GTO will also work together to model the combination of geothermal and CSP systems, and will assess simulated results with real-world data from the Stillwater facility.

"The CSP addition at Stillwater represents an exciting leap forward for renewables."

The simulated results will be used to explore and quantify the potential benefits of different operating strategies, and the integration schemes that would lead to the development of future hybrid renewable energy facilities.

Construction at the Stillwater CSP plant, which extends across more than 21 acres of property, and is situated adjacent to the geothermal and photovoltaic plants, is due to be completed within the third quarter of 2014.

Enel Green Power CEO Francesco Venturini said: "The CSP addition at Stillwater represents an exciting leap forward for renewables.

"This project is an important example of how our team in cooperation with outstanding partners, such as NREL and INL, can develop and deploy innovative projects, whose advanced solutions will have far-reaching applications for our portfolio and for the whole renewable energy industry."

Image: Enel Green signs agreement For Stillwater Hybrid power plant Photo: courtesy of franky242 /