Powering Strong Communities

Ormat Solicitation Seeks Buyers For Output Of 26-MW, California Geothermal Plant

Ormat Nevada is seeking bids for the purchase of capacity and energy from its repowered 26 megawatt (MW) Heber 2 geothermal project in Heber, Calif.

The winning bidder will receive all available environmental attributes and capacity rights and energy output associated with the geothermal plant as a bundled product that qualifies under California rules for in-state bundled renewable energy credits.

The plant has a 95 percent capacity factor and an existing on-site interconnection within the Imperial Irrigation District’s 92 kilovolt (kV) system and firm transmission service rights to deliver energy at the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) 230-kV Mirage intertie.

Heber 2 is owned and controlled by OrHeber 2 LLC, a subsidiary of Ormat Nevada.

Geothermal energy is well suited to complement intermittent forms of renewable energy such as photovoltaic solar power by supplying energy 24 hours a day regardless of weather conditions, Ormat said. The company noted that, as of June 2021, the California Public Utilities Commission is requiring load serving entities to procure 11,500 MW of new clean electricity by 2026, of which 1,000 MW must be firm power with an 80 percent capacity factor, produces zero on-site emissions, and is weather independent.

The deadline to submit questions regarding the solicitation is Aug. 6. Questions should be addressed to [email protected] and will be answered by Aug. 13. Bids are due Aug. 20. Ormat expects to notify the shortlisted buyers by Sept. 10.

The request for bids is available here,

The Heber 2 project is a water-cooled, binary geothermal facility that has been in operation since 1993. It is being repowered to increase its capacity to 26 MW from 12 MW by the replacement of the Ormat Energy Converter units while retaining the existing physical plant footprint. Ormat expects to complete the repowering and have the plant online by Jan. 1, 2023.

The company says the plant will have a 95 percent capacity factor and be able to deliver about 216,000 megawatt hours (MWh) in its first year of operation. Ormat estimates the annual degradation of the facility at 0.05 percent.

Ormat self financed the project and the plant site fully controlled on private land owned by Ormat. The existing facility has all required major permits, and the project has completed a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment and has primary local land use permits, Ormat said.

Ormat said preference will be given to bidders who:

  • allow for solar power for auxiliary load service, increasing the geothermal output;
  • are flexible on the estimated repowering online date;
  • offer pricing at P-node or the Mirage 230-kV substation;
  • enable Ormat to post a surety for the development and operating securities; and
  • are willing to lower the risk of liquidated damages for delays on achieving development period minimums.

A recent report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory outlined the potential of geothermal energy and the impediments for its deployment.