For immediate release: July 27, 2001
Media Contact: Percy Della (916) 654-4989

Six Projects to Advance Geothermal
Energy Research
and Production in California


Sacramento - The California Energy Commission has awarded grants to six projects that will continue to tap California's enormous geothermal energy resources.

The Energy Commission made the funds available to maximize the production of steam to drive geothermal plant turbines in the Geysers, Mammoth Lakes, Glass Mountain and Caldera geothermal research areas of California. State funding will also refine the extraction of valuable minerals from geothermal brines in the Salton Sea.

On the cutting edge of geothermal energy technology, California presently produces 2,500 of the 2,800 megawatts of geothermal power now available on the Western grid.

Three of the projects were funded under the Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program. The remaining three were awarded grants through the Commission's Geothermal Research Development Account (GRDA). More than $8 million in matching funds will be provided by the organizations submitting the winning proposals.

PIER awardees and their grants are:

GRDA winners are:

The PIER program now administers the public interest research and development responsibilities once held by investor-owned utilities before the electric industry was deregulated.

The Energy Commission's GRDA gets California's share of revenues from U.S. Bureau of Land Management leases of federal lands and mineral rights in the state. By legislative fiat, 40 percent of the funds deposited in the GRDA is returned to the counties of origin of geothermal leases, while 30 percent gets deposited in the Renewable Investment Fund. The remaining 30 percent is distributed by the Energy Commission for geothermal-related planning, development and mitigation activities.

# # #

For further information, contact:

Carol Bruton, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, 925-423-1936
W. Tom Box, Jr., Calpine Siskiyou, 707-431-6106
Roland Horne, Stanford University, 650-723-9595
Robert Sullivan, Mammoth Pacific Limited Partners, 760-934-4893
Bill Smith, Northern California Power Agency, 707-987-3101



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