history

Ormat has harnessed nature’s renewable energy for over five decades.

Here are some of the key milestones that shaped the company we are today:

  • Ormat was established in 1965 by the Bronicki family, who shared a bold vision to export breakthrough technology in the renewable energy sector.
  • At that time, Ormat was primarily known as a pioneer of proprietary turbine designs, capable of generating electricity from low enthalpy energy resources. In its early years, Ormat focused exclusively on manufacturing power generation equipment.

Decades of Delivering Sustainable Power

  • Our vision expanded with the development of the first Ormat Energy Converter (OEC), based on the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology, heated by the power of the sun, coupled to a water pump, which was installed in Mali, West Africa in 1965.
  • In the 1970s, Ormat expanded its technology and expertise in the Remote Power Unit (RPU) sector, providing RPUs for clients requiring reliable power generation in remote operating conditions. One of Ormat’s first RPU clients was the Trans-Alaska Pipeline project.
  • In 1982, Ormat developed the Solar Pond Power Plant – an experimental project to pilot the development of solar energy production.
  • Throughout the 1980s, Ormat developed its state-of-the-art Recovered Energy Generation (REG) power plant solutions, which utilize waste heat to create power, fully exploiting the energy potential found in different industrial processes, or gas compressor stations – converting unused heat into clean, emission-free, fuel-free electricity.
  • In the 1980s and throughout the 1990s, Ormat focused its growing renewable energy expertise on the geothermal industry. We developed Wabuska, a 2 MW geothermal power plant in Nevada, USA; our very first geothermal facility. This was followed in rapid succession by a series of major geothermal power plant acquisitions and developments, largely concentrated in Nevada and California, USA, which vaulted Ormat into the position of that country’s second largest geothermal power producer. The Integrated Two-Level Unit (ITLU) was a vital development in maximizing the thermodynamic efficiencies of lower-temperature resources. The patented ITLU design revolutionized the industry and, to this day, separates Ormat from the rest.
  • The 1990s were focused on positioning ourselves as a developer of geothermal power plants through technological advancement and continued supply of equipment worldwide. The first development was the 50 MW Leyte Optimization project in the Philippines under a BOT for 10 years starting in 1998. The inception of the Olkaria III complex with the 8 MW early generation in Kenya was the first stage in what is now a 140 MW complex.
  • In the 2000s we continued to grow in geothermal through the acquisition of geothermal assets in the US, increasing the total plants sold and reaching a total of 1300 MW in plants sold in 2010.
  • In 2004, Ormat completed an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange (ORA). Headquartered in Reno, Nevada, this transition to a public company enabled continued growth, expansion of our capabilities and the opportunity to participate in a wider variety of global power projects.
  • In the 2010s our long-term product development and residence in the market resulted in the largest modular ORC power plant available. This is a significant competitive advantage over others in achieving the highest ROI for our customers, all while continuing to grow as a power plant supplier, predominantly in the Turkish market where we have sold more than 30 geothermal power plants in less than 10 years.
  • In 2014, Ormat's founders retired from their management positions, transferring the company's helm to a new leadership. The new leadership defined our mission statement to become a leading renewable energy provider by enhancing our core geothermal business and expanding to the growing market of energy management and storage.
  • In Ormat 2016 acquired Viridity Energy, a leading supplier of energy optimization software and demand response solutions.
  • Today, Ormat has developed, owned, operated and built for third parties, more than 2,200 MW of generating capacity – in more than 30 countries. Over 760 MW of geothermal and REG plants are owned and operated by Ormat.

Through every decade, Ormat has continued to make major strides forward in the geothermal energy and recovered energy industries.  In the past several years, we’ve continued pursuing innovation in energy management, storage and demand response solutions; fields where we again show our strength as a vertically integrated solution provider.

Since Ormat began, our strong values have guided and shaped the way we work, our relationships with employees, clients, communities and other stakeholders, and the level of professionalism and spirit of innovation that accompanies every renewable power product and service we offer.

As a developer, operator and manufacturer of geothermal energy and recovered energy equipment, Ormat understands customer needs and creates field-proven solutions. Albert Einstein said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.” Our vast experience and constant feedback through both in-house and industry operations and applications has given us a full tool belt that our competitors don’t have.

Renewable energy and a vision for a cleaner, sustainable future have taken us this far – and we believe that our vision, capabilities and expertise will enable Ormat to flourish for ge­­nerations.