Geothermal Energy Production Gets Big Boost In California

Geothermal energy isn’t something you hear about as much in the renewable energy news, especially when up against wind or solar power. That is changing in California, however as the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today approved two California utilities to go forward with renewable energy projects centered around getting power from the earth we walk on.

The CPUC approved Southern California Edison to work with Ram Power, a geothermal power specialty company, to produce renewable energy from the Orita 1 facility in Imperial County, Calif. This particular plant will initially have a capacity of 50 megawatts (MW), with an option to double that. It “should produce approximately 400 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of energy per year beginning in 2013,” according to the CPUC. Two similar agreements between Edison and the developer “with similar terms and conditions for future projects” were also authorized.

CPUC Geothermal

image via Ram Power

Up in the northern half of California, meanwhile, the CPUC gave the go ahead to Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) to execute a similar geothermal arraignment with Geysers Power Company to add “50 MW of geothermal capacity from the geothermal resource area in the Sonoma and Lake Counties.”

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I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.

1 Comment

  • Reply May 7, 2010


    Energy content of domestic geothermal resources at a depth of about 2 miles is estimated to have as much energy that could equate to 30,000 year supply of energy at the current rate for the United States! Obviously the entire resource base is not recoverable, but a small percentage of this resource could make a huge difference to America’s energy portfolio. According to the Geothermal Energy Association, if the U.S. develops 5,635 MW of new geothermal power capacity it will result in 23,949 full-time jobs as well as create a 30 year economic output of almost $85 billion. Want to learn more about balanced energy for America? to get involved, discover CEA’s mission and sign up for our informative newsletter.

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