Bottle Rock Geothermal Plant Repowering

Docket Number:

79-AFC-4C (Compliance Proceeding)


Project Status: Licensed; In Compliance Phase



Background and Plant History

On July 27, 1979, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) filed an Application for Certification (AFC) for the 55 megawatt (MW) Bottle Rock Geothermal Project. As a geothermal AFC, following a Notice of Intention, the project went through a nine-month licensing proceeding, including a separate Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The DWR Bottle Rock Geothermal Project (Bottle Rock) received unanimous Energy Commission certification on November 5, 1980. Bottle Rock was constructed and began operating In February 1985.

Steam supply became a critical problem for Bottle Rock and while the South Geysers area had insufficient steam to make completion of construction worthwhile, the area near Bottle Rock had too little steam for the facility to continue generation. The steam field for Bottle Rock could only produce about 15 MW instead of the licensed 55 MW capacity.

In November 1990, DWR suspended operation of the Bottle Rock project and the plant was eventually placed into cold stand-by state. In April 1993, the Energy Commission approved an amendment modifying monitoring and reporting requirements in consideration of the plant's shutdown status. More recent notices and amendments are available through links on this page.

Bottle Rock was sold in 2001 to a private party, and ownership transferred from DWR to the Bottle Rock Corporation. U.S. Renewables Group purchased the power plant in October, 2005. In 2006 Bottle Rock was sold to Bottle Rock Power, LLC.

Bottle Rock is currently undergoing renovation and new wells are being drilled with the intention of operating the facility at its licensed 55 MW capacity.


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