Enel, through its subsidiary Enel Green Power North America, started operations at the world’s first commercial scale geothermal-hydro hybrid power plant in the U.S., the company announced Tuesday.
The Cove Forth plant, located in the western state of Utah, combines geothermal and hydroelectric power on one site by connecting "a fully submersible downhole generator technology to a geothermal injection well," the company said.
Cove Forth has an installed capacity of 25 megawatts and generates up to 160 gigawatt-hours of power each year.
"Initial testing phase held between July and September 2016 reveal that the addition of the hydro generator to the geothermal injection well resulted in an overall increase in output of 1,008 megawatt-hours over this time," the company findings show.
The company hopes to increase the efficiency of the plant which powers more than 13,000 U.S. households.
Utah is the first step in the company's plan to widen the use of the geothermal-hydro hybrid technology.
"We have once again discovered a more resourceful way to maximize plant operations and power generation with the aim of using this technology at our facilities around the world,” Francesco Venturini, head of Enel’s Global Renewable Energies said.
The company, focused on creating innovative solutions in power generation, also operates the world's first power plant to combine medium enthalpy, binary cycle geothermal, solar thermal and solar photovoltaic technologies at the same site in Nevada, in the U.S.
By Zeynep Beyza Kilic