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California Geothermal Plant Expansion Receives Approval

Southern California Edison's San Onofre nuclear power plant has been down since January 31, but the damaged reactors may restart by the end of the year, the operator has told press. The loss has affected 1.4 million homes as well as voltage support to the transmission system, causing some experts to question the stability of Southern Californian infrastructure. Tentative dates for repower are Nov. 18 for the Unit 2 reactor and Dec. 31 for Unit 3.

On the geothermal side of the spectrum, the Heber geothermal plant owned by Ormat Technologies is expected to get four more wells. The additional wells will maintain the plant’s capacity, Ormat’s Charlene Wardlow was quoted via ivpressonline.com, and were approved by the Imperial County Planning Commission. During the decision, Imperial resident Juan Zarate called for geothermal developers to provide community benefits to the county. Wardlow responded that royalties are provided to the private land owners were the plant is located; in places like Sonoma the plant is located on public lands, which is why that county receives royalties, she was quoted.

The recent Aruvians Research report, "Analyzing Geothermal Power in the U.S.," reaffirmed California’s position as a world leader in the geothermal business.

This article was originally published in GEA's Geothermal Energy Weekly and was republished with permission.

Lead image: Geothermal plant via Shutterstock

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Leslie is located in Washington DC at the Office of the Geothermal Energy Association and serves on the Renewable Energy World North America Conference and Expo committee.

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