BLM reviews 33 MW geothermal project in California

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management office in California is taking public comment until Jan. 15, 2013, on a draft joint environmental impact statement/environmental impact report analyzing a geothermal project near Mammoth Lakes in Mono County, Calif.

The proposed 33-MW (net) Casa Diablo IV Geothermal Development Project (CD-IV Project) would be built in the Inyo National Forest within existing federal geothermal leases and private lands. It would include construction of a new geothermal power plant and substation, up to 16 new production/injection wells, multiple pipelines and access roads. A 650-ft long transmission line is proposed to interconnect the new power plant to the existing Southern California Edison substation at Substation Road. The proposed Casa Diablo IV plant, substation, access roads, well pads, pipelines and transmission line would occupy about 80 acres. BLM said its preferred Alternative 3 differs from the applicant’s proposal in pipeline alignments and the location of one well.

ORNI 50 LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ormat Nevada Inc., proposes to construct, operate, maintain and decommission this project and related infrastructure. The CD-IV Project would be in the vicinity of the existing Mammoth Pacific LP (MPLP) geothermal complex located within the Mono-Long Valley Known Geothermal Resource Area near the town of Mammoth Lakes. The CD-IV Project would involve a new 33-MW binary power plant, development of an expanded geothermal well field of up to 16 geothermal resource wells, construction of pipelines to bring the geothermal brine to the power plant and pipelines to take the cooled brine to injection wells.

This project would support California’s goals for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and dependency on fossil fuels, BLM noted in the draft EIS.

  • California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) program requires investor-owned utilities, electric service providers, and community choice aggregators to increase their procurement of eligible renewable-energy resources to 33 percent of total procurement by 2020. The California RPS was established in 2002 under S.B. 1078, accelerated in 2006 under S.B. 107, and expanded in 2011 under Senate Bill 2X.
  • Also, in 2006, California adopted the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Assembly Bill 32), which set the goal of reducing statewide GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 into law. It directed the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to begin developing early actions to reduce greenhouse gases while also preparing a scoping plan to identify how best to reach the 2020 limit. The Climate Change Scoping Plan was originally approved by CARB in 2008, and re-approved in August 2011. One of the key GHG reduction measures in this scoping plan was to increase the RPS from 20% by 2010 to 33% by 2020.
About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.