This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

October 02, 2002

Nevada Geothermal Leases Sold; New Geothermal Plant Proposed in California

The Nevada Bureau of Land Management (BLM) sold geothermal leases for 16 tracts of land on September 25th. The leases for 31,094 acres of land yielded more than $300,000 for the agency. The tracts are located in three "Known Geothermal Resource Areas"—areas considered rich in geothermal energy and prime for energy development—in northeast Nevada. Although the BLM had offered 67 tracts covering 130,537 acres, developers obviously focused on the prime locations, with as many as four bids received on the 16 leased tracts. See the Nevada BLM press release.

Meanwhile, plans for a new geothermal plant in Southern California are now under review by the California Energy Commission (CEC). The proposed geothermal plant, called Salton Sea Unit Six, will produce 185 megawatts of power. The plant will represent a sizable boost in power production for the Salton Sea area, which currently includes 10 geothermal power plants with a total capacity of 340 megawatts. The $460 million project, proposed by CE Obsidian Energy, LLC, will require 10 geothermal production wells, seven brine injection wells, a 161-kilovolt switchyard, and two electrical transmission lines. The formal CEC review process takes a year; if approved, the new plant is expected to be operating by 2005. See the CEC press release.