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Big Geothermal Plan for the Salton Sea

Posted by Morgan Miles Craft On 2:57 PM

   The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has signed a lease for exploring geothermal potential on 2950 acres in Imperial County near the Salton Sea as part of meeting its state-mandated deadline to produce 40% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
   It is offering to lease the land for 5 years of exploration and study at $295,000 annually - representing $100 per acre per year - while it determines the feasibility of geothermal production there.
   The Salton Sea lies directly above the southern end of the San Andreas Fault, and super-heated steam lies just below its surface. Already, six existing geothermal plants there produce enough electricity for 220,000 homes. (Click to read on...)


   LADWP is the largest municipal utility in the US, and its membership consists of eleven cities and an irrigation district that supply electricity to most of Southern California, including the numerous municipal utilities.
   In addition, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has approved the lease of 3,322 acres of public land also near the Salton Sea for possible geothermal energy projects.

   Two Nevada-based companies, Western Geothermal Partners, and Ormat Nevada Inc., will be allowed to explore the possibility of developing geothermal energy projects on public lands. If completed, the projects could produce up to 100 megawatts, enough to power 5,000 homes.
   Plans are also underway for expanded transmission capacity across the region, with a 120-mile transmission line from the Imperial Valley to San Diego. The DWP hopes to link the geothermal plants in the Salton Sea area to Los Angeles via its recently-approved Devers 2 – Palo Verde transmission line running adjacent to existing transmission lines along I-10.

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