06 Jul 2024

Larderello, Italy Celebrates 120 Years of Geothermal Electricity Generation

06 Jul 2024  by thinkgeoenergy   

The Larderello geothermal power plant in Tuscany, Italy (source: Enel Group)
A celebration was held in Tuscany, Italy to commemorate the 120-year anniversary since geothermal energy was first used to generate electricity in Larderello. Around 300 people attended the celebration which included the unveiling of a new photographic exhibition on geothermal, musical performances, and a speech from the President of the Tuscany Region Eugenio Giani.

Larderello produced its first electricity from geothermal in 1904 when Piero Ginori Conti turned on the first five geothermal-powered light bulbs using a simple dynamo generator. By 1913, the first geothermal power plant in the world was built in Larderello. Among its first uses is to supply power to the textile factory of the Larderel family after whom the place was named.

The Geothermal Museum of Larderello houses a copy of the prototype of the machine with which geothermal energy was first harnessed to generate electricity.

The 120-year anniversary celebration was opened with the inauguration of the “Le terre del vapore” photographic exhibition by Fabio Sartori at the headquarters of Enel Green Power in Larderello. Enel Green Power also displayed a large effigy of Piero Ginori Conti doing his experiment on the facade of the Geothermal Museum, along with anecdotes and pieces of history that recounted the story of geothermal in Italy.

The Enel Group inherited Tuscany’s geothermal sites in 1962 and proceeded to develop them. Today, the Enel Group operates 34 geothermal power plants in Tuscany, supplying 34% of the electricity needs of the region. The geothermal facilities provide heat for approximately 13,000 users, 26 hectares of greenhouses and artisanal businesses, while also playing an important role in sustainable tourism. Around 60,000 visitors per year go to the Geothermal Museum, as well as in the various trekking routes and plants in the geothermal territories.


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