San Jose, California [RenewableEnergyAccess.com Calpine Corporation launched a five-year, multi-million dollar green power program to increase power production by up to 80 megawatts (MW) at its Geysers geothermal operations in northern California. The program includes a new, two-year multi-rig drilling program to expand steam production and identify new sources of geothermal power — as well as rebuild eight older geothermal turbines to make them even more energy efficient.
Located about 100 miles north of San Francisco, The Geysers is the largest geothermal operation in the world, with Calpine’s portfolio of units there generating 725 MW of renewable energy. It is one of California’s most beneficial domestic energy resources, representing about 25 percent of the state’s renewable energy production.
“The PUC welcomes this additional investment in meeting California’s energy needs,” said Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon of the California Public Utilities Commission on the company’s Geysers Repowering Program. “We all have to work together to provide the infrastructure for California’s growing population and reach the state’s aggressive goal of obtaining 20 percent of our power from renewable sources by 2010.”
Calpine owns 19 of the 21 geothermal units at The Geysers and a vast network of steam fields. In addition, Calpine is expanding and sustaining production from this renewable resource through wastewater recharge projects whereby clean reclaimed wastewater from local municipalities is recycled into the geothermal resource where it is converted into steam for electricity production. This provides an environmentally sound wastewater discharge solution for neighboring cities and increases the long-term productivity of the geothermal operation.