$2 billion multinational listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYX) that builds geothermal power plants around the world, from Colorado to Kenya.
They also have a stake in a multi-billion dollar project with OPTICanada to refine heavy oil spread throughout the Alberta tar sands in Canada. Ormat owns the technology which the Canadian company will be using.
In the area of geothermal energy (taking heat energy from the earth and converting it into usable energy), where Ormat derives most of its income, the 700 man company has commercialized a technology called the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC). The ORC enables the production of electricity not only from steam, but also from hot water. Ormat has 11 such energy plants around the world with several at US locations in Nevada and California; Ormat has also built similar units in a Kenyan wildlife reserve taking giraffes into consideration and building structures that the animals can walk around. "Geothermal power usually follows consumption needs and because of that we generally build our plants in populated areas," says Bronicki, whose plants produce about 360 Megawatts of power-enough energy to serve about 500,000 people.
Energy recovery is the company's second most important area of business.
Ormat has built a turbine technology that fits to heat-generating factories. "These turbines collect heat that would otherwise be wasted," says Bronicki, who notes that the heat from cement kilns and other industrial processes salvaged by the Ormat units equates to about 50,000 pounds worth of fossil fuel saved each day. She adds, "Most of our applications are along natural gas pipelines which use waste heat collected from gas turbines that drive the compressors."
Energy clients include Basin Electric in North Dakota, Southern California Edison, and Sierra Pacific Power in Nevada. The energy collected either goes back to serve the customer's needs or it is sold to utility companies for general use. Ormat is also manufacturing small gas-fired units for telecom along pipelines, for example along the trans-Alaskan pipeline where such units are in operation for 30 years.
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