For immediate release: July 27, 2001
Media Contact: Percy Della (916) 654-4989
Six Projects to Advance Geothermal
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:
- Mammoth Pacific Limited Partnership of Mammoth Lakes, California, $1 million for refining an evaporative cooling process utilizing reclaimed water at its geothermal plants in the Mammoth Lakes area of Mono County. (match funding: $1.46 million)
- Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, $669,683 to develop methods of extracting valuable minerals such as high grade silica, lithium and arsenic from energy production of geothermal power plants in the Salton Sea. The idea is to bring mineral extraction to commercial fruition while eliminating silica scaling to increase energy production from geothermal brines. (match funding: $167,420)
- Stanford University of Palo Alto, $258,781 for devising a strategy for increased injection of wastewater into the Geysers geothermal field, including laboratory measurements of saturation on rock cores from the Geysers reservoir. (match funding: $66,780)
GRDA winners are:
- The Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in association with the Northern California Power Agency, Middletown, $600,000, for the analysis and monitoring of micro earthquake (MEQ) occurrences in the Geysers as induced by the injection of large volumes of wastewater. Beginning in the fall of 2002, wastewater will be pumped to the flagging Geysers through the Santa Rosa wastewater pipeline. The monitoring will make sure that induced seismic activity is documented, and if necessary mitigated, to prevent any danger to nearby communities. (match funding: $292,000)
- Calpine Siskiyou Geothermal Partners, LP, Middletown, $1,358,000 to confirm commercial steam resource by drilling and testing the first exploration well in the Four-mile Hill area of Siskiyou County. (match funding: $1,456,640)
- Mammoth Pacific LP, Mammoth Lakes, $793,122, to explore and assess the possibility of a 50-megawatt geothermal power plant in the Long Valley Caldera geothermal region of Mono County. (match funding: $1,462,597)
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
Return to Recent News Releases Listings Page
Return to What's New!
| Homepage | Commission Info | Site Index | Search Site | Links |
E-mail us about our Web Site at: email@example.com
"Energia" means ENERGY in Greek and Latin.