Local energy milestones

Reno-based Ormat Technologies became the sole owner of the geothermal complex at Mammoth Lakes, Calif., last week. The Mammoth complex is a 29-megawatt facility. Ormat CEO Dita Bronicki said in a prepared statement that the geothermal power company plans to double the generation capacity at Mammoth. Ormat gained exclusive ownership of the complex when it bought Constellation Energy Group’s 50 percent share in it for $72.5 million. The acquisition includes rights to more than 10,000 acres of undeveloped federal lands.

In other local renewable energy news, nonprofit solar installation group Black Rock Solar announced Aug. 4 that is has passed a milestone of more than 1 million watts—1 megawatt—of solar power installed. The group says it’s the largest amount of solar power installed by a nonprofit nationwide and represents a cost savings of more than $6 million, not to mention a chunk of reduced carbon emissions.

The project that brought BRS over the 1 megawatt hump was a 30kW solar array installed for the North Lyon County Fire Department in Fernley, which the group’s annual Solarstice event helped fund. Other projects the group completed this year include 150 kW installed at the Food Bank of Northern Nevada, 135 kW at Pyramid Lake High School and 20 kW at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts.

The group also announced that executive director Tom Price, who helped start the nonprofit after taking a cue from the “Green Man” theme at Burning Man 2007, will be leaving his post this fall to move on to other renewable energy endeavors.