The United States Commissions Operation on the World’s Largest Geothermal Plant: Expected to Produce Upto 1GW of Energy Annually

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The United States has commissioned the operation of the world’s largest geothermal power plant in Los Angeles. The power plant is expected to produce up to 1 gigawatt (GW) of electricity annually. The undertaking currently spans 900MW and is located in the Imperial Valley in California. The power plant is the first of its kind as it incorporates an enhanced geothermal system (EGS) which enables geothermal energy production. This amount of renewable energy is precisely what the whole world is looking for and the United States is now generating en masse.

It holds numerous potential benefits for energy transition in the United States as the nation seeks to rely on more sustainable sources of energy. As of 2021, geothermal energy in the United States had an installed capacity of only around 3,700 MW. It also derived a minor part of the total U.S. electricity generated. The geothermal expertise is recommended to grow rapidly soon.

The Significance of the World’s Largest Geothermal Plant in the United States

The energy produced by the commissioned power plant will be essential in numerous ways in facilitating energy production. Geothermal power will have almost 27 times expansion by 2050, reaching approximately 100,000 MW. The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) envisions growth in the form of moderate expansion but anticipates it on a broader scale of approximately 21 GW. These large-scale productions of geothermal capacity are expected to peak by the year 2050. Integrating the enhanced geothermal systems on the world’s largest geothermal plant is a fundamental step in revolutionizing geothermal energy. World's Largest Geothermal Plant

This is because the technology allows for the extraction of geothermal resources that have been there but were not economically viable. Another significance that makes the world’s largest geothermal plant appealing is the power station’s reliability. This is crucial as utilities incorporate the intermittent power capacity of renewables like wind and solar. Also, it facilitates meeting the increasing demand for clean technology will heighten the search for zero-emission sources.

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The Use of New Technologies in Facilitating Renewable Energy Production

The world’s largest geothermal plant has immensely revolutionized geothermal energy by incorporating new technology, the first of its kind. Known as the Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS), the technology will facilitate in energy production. EGS models work by sending water underground to the depths of hot rocks and drilling wells to widen the cracks. It is through these cracks the heat from the reservoir can get to the surface. The high-temperature water that emerges is redirected upwards so that it can be fed into a turbine. This is also used to generate electricity. The world’s largest geothermal plant relies on about 13 turbines for its energy production. These 13 turbines alone would generate enough electricity to serve about 675,000 households. Furthermore, the project worth $1bn has been highly applauded as a giant leap into geothermal energy in the US. World's Largest Geothermal Plant

Similar Renewable Energy Projects Currently Underway in the United States

Apart from the world’s largest geothermal plant, the United States has placed investments in tapping into renewable energy sources. One of these projects is the offshore wind farm in Virginia. The Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind is an offshore wind energy project located about 43 km off the coast of Virginia Beach, U.S. The initial phase, a two-turbine, 12-MW pilot project constructed in 2020, is the second utility-scale offshore wind farm operating in the United States. US-based Dominion Energy oversees the implementation of the project. It is expected that once completed, the wind farm will produce enough energy to power 660,000 homes.

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Construction begins on the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project by dominion.