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Harry Reid announces first hybrid power plant at Las Vegas event

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Justin M. Bowen

Sen. Harry Reid speaks during a press conference announcing the first-ever hybrid geothermal-solar power plant during the National Clean Energy Summit Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011, at the Aria Convention Center.

Updated Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011 | 12:48 p.m.

Clean Energy Summit 4.0

ENN Group chairman Yusuo Wang, speaks during the National Clean Energy Summit Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at the Aria Convention Center. Launch slideshow »

Sen. Harry Reid kicked off the fourth annual clean energy conference today by announcing the inauguration of the first-ever hybrid geothermal and solar plant, combining two of Nevada’s homegrown forms of renewable energy in a single power-generating project.

The plant, which will be situated at the existing Stillwater Geothermal Plant about 75 miles outside of Reno, will generate an additional 24 megawatts of power and create about 150 installation jobs, according to Enel Green Power North America President Francesco Venturini.

Enel Green Power, which is partnering with Nevada-based Bombard Renewable Energy to build the project, already runs the Stillwater geothermal facility.

“Enel Green Power has wisely and successfully married two clean renewable energy resources that Nevada has in vast abundance,” Reid said. “I hope we will see more of these integrated projects.”

The plant is fairly small compared to some of the more recent solar projects to come online. The solar energy storage facility in Tonopah, for example, is an 110-megawatt project that’s expected to create about 600 jobs.

The fusion of solar and geothermal technology is expected to serve the same kind of purpose: geothermal will provide the continuous stream of energy, while the solar project is expected to augment the peak capability of the Stillwater facility. The energy produced at the hybrid facility will be sold to NV Energy.

Venturini said he expected the Stillwater expansion project to be completed in one year.

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