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For Immediate Release: December 14, 2006
Media Contact: Susanne Garfield-Jones - 916-654-4989

California Energy Commission Allows Bottle Rock Geothermal
Power Plant to Restart Operations after 16 Years


Sacramento - The California Energy Commission will allow the Bottle Rock Geothermal Power Plant to start operating again after it had been dormant for 16 years.

During the Commission's business meeting on December 13, the Commissioners voted 5-0 to approve a petition allowing Bottle Rock to begin producing an initial 20 megawatts (MW) of electricity after the Department of Water Resources in 1990 decided to shut down the then 55-MW capacity facility due to a lack of steam. The Commission also allowed a change in ownership from the Bottle Rock Power Corporation to Bottle Rock Power, LLC. The decision also permits work immediately on the following 11 design changes at the facility:

  1. Install vacuum pumps to maintain vacuum in the condenser versus reliance upon steam injectors.
  2. Install a distributive control system for the plant.
  3. Add a new skim line in the Stretford H2S abatement system.
  4. Add a mercury vapor filter upstream of the abatement system.
  5. Add air spargers to the oxidizer tanks in the abatement system.
  6. Change the operation and design of the secondary abatement system.
  7. Add a second main stream line isolation valve.
  8. Install a variable-speed, automating steam-staking system.
  9. Install a new design in the steam washing system.
  10. Add a steam sampling point downstream of the Burgess Manning main steam separator.
  11. Install exterior lighting abatement improvements.

Pacific Gas and Electric will purchase power from the Bottle Rock Power Plant as a result of its 2005 Renewables Portfolio Standard solicitation.

The Bottle Rock Power Plant is located on 350 acres known as the Francisco Lease on High Valley Road near the town of Cobb in Lake County. The Energy Commission certified the 55-MW DWR Bottle Rock Geothermal Power Plant in 1980, and the power plant began producing electricity for the State Water Project in 1985. In 1993, the Commission approved an amendment to the decision that reduced the monitoring and reporting requirements in consideration of the plant's shutdown status.

In 2001, the Energy Commission approved the transfer of the Bottle Rock power plant from DWR to the Bottle Rock Power Corporation, which assumed the responsibilities and obligations imposed by the conditions of certification of the power plant.

Since deregulation occurred in 1998, the Energy Commission has licensed or given small power plant exemptions to 60 power plants, totaling 23,464 MW. Thirty-six licensed power plants are in operation, producing 12,910 MW. Since Governor Schwarzenegger took office, 17 of these power plants, totaling 6,828 MW, have been approved. In addition, 13 power plant projects are active in the Energy Commission's review process, representing 5,207 MW. More information on Energy Commission power plant projects is available at:

http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/all_projects.html

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