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Salton Sea - New Geothermal Plant


Last updated 3/16/2016 at 11:46am

Robb Hannawacker/Flickr

CTR has developed proprietary US patented technology, that is well suited to the hostile Salton Sea conditions.

Imperial Irrigation District's board of directors voted Monday, March. 13, to approve a 1,900-acre lease agreement with Australian company, Controlled Thermal Resources.

The proposal would see a massive geothermal power plant built along the Salton Sea's southern shore. Based near Calipatria, the 250-megawatt facility would generate five times as much electricity as any of the 11 existing geothermal plants in the area.

Final approval would need to be sought from the California Energy Commission due to the plant exceeding 49.9 megawatts, which is why most companies have avoided building in the area, despite it being home to one of the world's strongest geothermal reservoirs.

"Our goal is to generate competitive baseload power that's truly competitive with the fossil fuel market," said Rod Colwell, Controlled Thermal Resources' chief executive.

Kevin Kelley, general manager of the Imperial Irrigation District, sounded a note of caution. He described the lease agreement as "the first leg of a long journey," noting that Controlled Thermal Resources will still need to find a buyer for the electricity before it can move forwardand secure big loans to start construction.

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