CALIFORNIA CLEAN ENERGY TOUR
THE GEYSERS

The Geysers geothermal field is the largest producer of geothermal electricity in the world.

The Geysers geothermal field is the largest producer of geothermal electricity in the world. It is located in the Mayacamas Mountains at the border of Lake and Sonoma counties, and covers more than 45 square miles. Commercial geothermal power has been continuously generated at The Geysers since 1960. The geothermal plants use heat from the earth’s interior to produce electricity around the clock.

Since the late 1970’s, the California Energy Commission licensed 11 geothermal projects at The Geysers. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), the California Department of Water Resources, the Northern California Power Agency (NCPA), the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, and Occidental Geothermal were the initial developers of geothermal power plants at The Geysers. As part of electricity deregulation, in 1999, PG&E sold all of its geothermal power plants to Calpine Corporation.

There are currently 18 geothermal plants in operation at The Geysers producing about 835 megawatts. Calpine owns and operates 15 plants. NCPA operates two plants and Bottle Rock Power, LLC, operates one power plant.

NCPA and Geysers Power Company, LLC, a subsidiary of Calpine, have received grants from the California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program. NCPA received funding in 2004, while Geysers was awarded money in 2011.

See more information about The Geysers geothermal field.

A turbine deck inside the NCPA Plant #2 at The Geysers. Detail of a geothermal generator turbine Outside view of McCabe Unit 5 and 6,  a geothermal power plant at The Geysers owned by Calpine Corporation.

Photo of McCabe Unit 5 and 6 courtesy of Calpine Corporation. Photos of NCPA Plant #2 courtesy of the California Energy Commission

 

Benefits

  • The geothermal plants use heat from the earth’s interior to produce electricity around the clock.

  • Calpine’s plants have the capacity to generate 725 megawatts, enough green energy to power San Francisco.

  • An estimated 300 full-time operational jobs were created to operate Calpine’s geothermal plants.

Type of Project

Geothermal

Status

Calpine has proposed two new geothermal power plants, each capable of producing up to 49 megawatts. The North Geysers project would be the first new plants constructed at The Geysers since 1989. The construction schedule will be set when power purchase agreements and additional permits are obtained.

 

Map of The Geysers Geothermal Field  in California
 

SEE LOCATIONS ON THE TOUR

Alta Wind Energy Center

Wind

CleanWorld Sacramento BioDigester

Anaerobic digester

Desert Sunlight Solar Farm

Solar photovoltaic

Electric Vehicles International

Electric vehicle manufacturing

The Geysers

Geothermal

Helms Pumped Storage Facility

Hydroelectric storage

Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System

Solar thermal

Mendota Bioenergy, LLC

Biorefinery demonstration

Playa Vista Elementary School

Green school

Public Electric Vehicle Charging at the South Coast Air Quality Management District

Electric vehicle charging infrastructure

Santa Rita Jail

Smart grid/solar/wind/fuel cell/advanced energy storage/solar thermal

UC Davis West Village

Zero net energy mixed use, multi-unit housing communities