Geothermal Visual: Support for Salton Sea in California Taking Shape

On October 9, Gov. Jerry Brown approved a bill related to restoring southern California’s Salton Sea and announced plans would begin to take shape (desertsun.com).

“The Salton Sea has a long and storied history in California and with these key restoration projects, the state is helping protect air quality, while maintaining a viable water supply in the region,” Brown said.

The Salton Sea Authority and Natural Resources Agency are now required to study restoration projects. A.B. 1095 requires, “on or before March 31, 2016, the Natural Resources Agency to submit to the Legislature a list of shovel-ready, as defined, Salton Sea restoration projects, including information regarding project costs and project completion timelines” (PDF). “Shovel-ready” is defined as projects in either the final planning, environmental review or permitting phase.

“There are about 2,000 MW of potential geothermal energy in the Salton Sea region, in the southern part of the Salton Sea area, and as we have now set a goal for renewable energy for 50 percent renewable energy we are now looking how geothermal can also play a role,” press quoted Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) who wrote the bill (kesq.com).

State Sen. Ben Hueso had provided Commissioner of the California Energy Commission David Hochschild with a tour of the Salton Sea earlier in the month. “I wasn’t aware that the geothermal here on the Salton Sea is actually the best in the whole state,” Hochschild told press (ivpressonline.com). “I knew it was good, but didn’t know it was that good and there is still a lot more potential to exploit that resource and produce energy from so it was good to get to see that up close.” As part of the tour, the Commissioner visited the Hudson Ranch geothermal plant operated by GEA members Energy Source.

This blog was originally published in the GEA’s GeoEnergyWire and was republished with permission.

Lead image: Salton Sea Endorheic Rift Lake. Credit: 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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