Salt River Project takes power from 25-MW geothermal project

The Salt River Project said Dec. 17 that it is now receiving renewable energy from the recently-completed Cove Fort Geothermal Project in Beaver County, Utah.

In 2012, SRP signed a 20-year agreement with Massachusetts-based Enel Cove Fort LLC to purchase the output of the 25-MW plant. A geothermal power plant produces electricity from naturally occurring heat below Earth’s surface. The Cove Fort project will utilize binary cycle technology, allowing access to regions with lower temperature geothermal resources.

“Geothermal energy is an extremely valuable product and it greatly enhances our sustainable portfolio,” said John Sullivan, SRP’s chief resource planning executive. “It is one of the only renewable-energy technologies that can provide energy for our customers around the clock.”

Under SRP’s Sustainable Portfolio goals, SRP must meet 20% of its retail electricity requirements through sustainable resources by the year 2020. SRP’s sustainable portfolio is currently providing more than 10% of retail energy needs with sustainable resources such as solar, wind, landfill gas, geothermal, biomass, hydro and energy-efficiency measures.

Enel Green Power announced Nov. 27 the start-up of plant operations. The facility will be able to generate up to 160 GWh of power per year. Construction of the plant required a total investment of about $126m. The facility is owned by Enel Cove Fort LLC, a subsidiary of EGPNA Development Holdings LLC.

The project is expected to qualify for the Section 1603 Renewable Energy Treasury Grant Program.

In North America, Enel Green Power also owns the Stillwater and Salt Wells geothermal plants, which are located near Fallon, Nev. These plants also use medium enthalpy, binary cycle technology, which is among the most advanced in the sector. Last year, a 26-MW photovoltaic facility was added to the Stillwater geothermal power plant, therefore creating the first hybrid plant in the world with these characteristics, Enel noted.

Enel Green Power (EGP) operates in North America through Enel Green Power North America (EGP-NA), which owns and operates over 90 plants in 21 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces with an installed capacity of around 1.7 GW. The capacity base is diversified across four generation technologies: wind, geothermal, solar photovoltaic and hydro.

SRP is the largest provider of electricity to the greater Phoenix area, serving more than 980,000 electric customers.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.