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For immediate release: September 25, 2002
Media Contact: Chris Davis - 916-654-4989

Salton Sea Geothermal Project Begins Formal
Energy Commission Review


Sacramento - The California Energy Commission today voted the Salton Sea Unit Six project data adequate. The data-adequacy finding means the application is complete and ready for the staff to analyze under the Energy CommissionŐs comprehensive 12-month power plant review process.

The Salton Sea Unit Six Project is a proposal of CE Obsidian Energy, LLC, which is a subsidiary of CalEnergy Operating Company. CalEnergy, in turn, is owned in part by MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company. CE Obsidian affiliates own the rights to about 20,000 acres of the geothermal resources in the Salton Sea Known Geothermal Resource Area, which encompasses more than 100,000 acres. Ten geothermal power plants in the area currently generate approximately 340 megawatts of electricity.

The Unit Six proposal calls for injection and production wells covering 2,800 acres to produce 185 megawatts from a geothermal steam turbine electric generating facility. The generating facility itself would be built on 80 acres. In addition to the power plant, the project would consist of a resource production facility, a 161-kilovolt switchyard, ten geothermal production wells, seven brine injection wells and two electrical transmission lines.

The total investment for the Salton Sea Unit Six Project is estimated to be $460 million. Under the proposed construction schedule, the plant, if approved, would be operational in 2005.

Information about the Salton Sea Unit Six Project is available on the Energy Commssion website at: http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/saltonsea/

A Siting Committee will be named to oversee the Energy Commission review. During the certification process, the Committee is responsible for overseeing all hearings and related proceedings for the proposed facility. Once the review is complete, the Committee will draft a formal recommendation for the remaining Commissioners to consider at a full hearing of the Energy Commission.

To begin the process, the Committee will schedule an Informational Hearing and Site Tour. Members of the public, interested parties, and other agencies will have an opportunity to find out more, and make comments, about the proposal. The date, time and place for the hearing and tour will be released in the next few weeks.

Public involvement is a very important part of the Energy CommissionŐs review process. To find out how to participate, contact the Energy CommissionŐs Public Adviser, Roberta Mendonca, at (916) 654-4489, (800) 822-6228, or by e-mail at: [pao@energy.state.ca.us].

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