California Energy Commission Approves Reopening Geothermal Plant After 16-Year Dormancy

December 18, 2006

The California Energy Commission (CEC) recently approved reopening the Bottle Rock Geothermal Power Plant, a 55-megawatt (MW) geothermal facility that has been dormant since 1990. The plant will initially operate at 20 megawatts and increase generation later.

The Bottle Rock plant is located in the Geysers Geothermal Field, 75 miles north of San Francisco in Lake County.

The US Renewables Group of Santa Monica, California, bought controlling interest in Bottle Rock in October 2005. The US Renewables Group buys, develops, and operates renewable energy projects.

Originally owned and operated by the California Department of Water Resources, the facility opened in 1985 but was shut down after only 5 years of operation when production began to lag because of a lack of steam.

The facility will undergo 11 design changes before reopening. Power generated by the plant will be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric Co., a subsidiary of PG&E Corp., the state’s biggest utility.

For more information, see the CEC Docket.

Source: Reuter’s December 14 article picked up by EERE Geothermal Technology Program News.