Salton Sea Geothermal Project - Notice of public hearing and site visit

[California Energy Commission Seal]



The California Energy Commission is the State agency granted exclusive authority to review and license proposals to construct and operate large electric power plants. CE Obsidian Energy, L.L.C., has filed a proposal to construct a geothermal power project near Calipatria in Imperial County. A Committee of the Commission will begin the regulatory review process by conducting a Public Informational Hearing and Site Visit as described below:

Purpose of Hearing:

The Informational Hearing and Site Visit are the initial steps of the Commission's public power plant certification process, which contains requirements equivalent to those under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to review all relevant environmental and engineering aspects of the proposed project.

At the Informational Hearing, members of the general public, landowners, and representatives of other governmental agencies will have an opportunity to obtain information and offer comments on the proposal. The Applicant will explain its plans for developing the proposed site and related facilities. The Energy Commission staff will explain the regulatory review process and staff's role as independent experts in analyzing the project. The Applicant and the staff will also discuss possible issues that may be significant during the remainder of the proceeding.

Site Visit Date & Place:

Reservations Required:
(by November 15, 2002)

The Informational Hearing will be preceded by a Site Visit at 12 Noon. Persons intending to attend the Site Visit should gather at the Calipatria High School parking lot. The Applicant will provide bus transportation.

November 19, 2002
Beginning at 12 Noon.

Calipatria High School
501 West Main Street
Calipatria, California 92233

Persons planning to attend the Site Visit should make a reservation for bus transportation with the Commission's Public Adviser at 916-654-4489 or toll free at 800-822-6228 or via e-mail [] no later than Friday, November 15, 2002.


Hearing Date & Place:


November 19, 2002
Beginning at 3:00 p.m.

Calipatria High School, Wirt Auditorium
501 West Main Street
Calipatria, California 92233


Project Description:

On July 29, 2002, CE Obsidian Energy filed an Application For Certification (AFC) to construct and operate a geothermal steam turbine electric generating facility. The project is proposed for an 80-acre parcel located six miles northwest of Calipatria, within the unincorporated area of Imperial County, California. The new geothermal power facility would generate approximately 185 megawatts.

The project would consist of a resource production facility, a power generation facility, a new 161 kV switchyard, and ancillary facilities including ten geothermal production wells, seven brine injection wells, and two electrical transmission lines. Cooling and potable water for the project would be supplied by Imperial Irrigation District from an existing canal approximately 500 feet from the project site via a buried 10-inch pipe, and treated on-site. Annual water use is estimated at 293 acre-feet. The plant is planned to insure that no wastewater will leave the site. The electric transmission system would consist of two separate lines, totaling 31 miles, connecting the project with separate segments of the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) transmission system. Both lines will be built as 230 kV, and operated at 161 kV.

The Salton Sea Known Geothermal Resource Area (KGRA) encompasses 100,887 acres, with only 4,808 acres currently developed. The proposed project would develop another 3,180 acres. The Salton Sea KGRA currently sustains 10 electric generation projects, delivering approximately 326 MW. the proposed project would bring the total to 511 MW of a 680 MW proven reserve.

More Information:

In order to assist participants in understanding the project, the Commission Staff will prepare and file by November 15, 2002, an Issue Identification Report summarizing the potential major issues in the proceeding. Copies of this document may be obtained by calling the Commission's Project Manager, Robert Worl, at (916) 651-8853 or through the Commission's Web Site at


The environmental and engineering details of the proposed project are contained in the Application for Certification (AFC). Copies of the AFC are available at the Calipatria Branch Library, 225 W. Main, Calipatria, CA 92233 and the El Centro Public Library, 539 State St., El Centro, CA 92243



(toll free in California)


Members of the public may participate in all phases of the licensing process in a variety of ways. If you need information concerning public participation, please contact Roberta Mendonca, the Energy Commission's Public Adviser, at 916-654-4489 or, toll free in California, at 800-822-6228, or by e-mail at: []

Information concerning the status of the project, notices and other relevant documents are available on the Commission's Web Site at: []

If you have a disability and need assistance to participate in the Informational Hearing and/or Site Visit, please contact Lou Quiroz at least five (5) days before the hearing at 916-654-5146 or email at: []



Technical questions concerning the project should be addressed to the Energy Commission Staff's Project Manager, Robert Worl, at 916-651-8853 or e-mail: []

Questions of a legal or procedural nature should be directed to Garret Shean, the Hearing Officer, at 916-654-3893 or e-mail at: []

Media inquiries should be directed to Claudia Chandler, Assistant Executive Director for Media and Public Communications, at 916-654-4989 or by e-mail at: []

Date online: November 1, 2002


Chairman and Presiding Member
Salton Sea AFC Committee

Commissioner and Associate Member
Salton Sea AFC Committee