Recharge News has a report on a new geothermal power plant opening in southern California - EnergySource starts 50MW geothermal plant at Salton Sea.
A 49.9MW geothermal plant came on line this month, tapping heat from the Salton Sea field, a proven geothermal resource area that hasn't seen a new generator in more than two decades.
The developer, EnergySource, already has a power purchase agreement for a second plant in the southern California area.
"With this team and so much available capacity in this resource, we have a development pipeline of new geothermal projects for the coming decade that will help California and Southwestern utilities meet their state-mandated renewable energy requirements,” says chief executive Dave Watson.
The $400m Hudson Ranch 1, under construction since May 2010, draws on what EnergySource describes as "one of the largest and highest temperature geothermal resources in North America", with an "extremely permeable liquid dominated resource". Two of the plant's three production wells draw enough steam to generate more than 40MW each -- "among the largest producers in the world" -- while a third is capable of more than 15MW.
“The Salton Sea geothermal resource is robust, with 326MW in 10 existing projects currently operating at a capacity factor substantially greater than 90%, with a development potential of 1,400MW or more,” says Dr. Subir Sanyal of GeothermEx, a resource consultant for the project's financiers.