Friday, April 15, 2016

USA, California: Geothermal Energy Could Save the Salton Sea

Salton Sea geothermal: Cheaper than solar farms? (The Desert Sun)

Building more geothermal power plants by the Salton Sea could eventually save Californians hundreds of millions of dollars per year, according to a new report.

The lake is home to one of the world's most potent geothermal reservoirs, thanks to underground heat that brings salty water to temperatures greater than 500 degrees Fahrenheit. But while 11 geothermal plants already generate electricity along the Salton Sea's southern shore, energy development has ground to a halt in recent years, due to the high cost of building geothermal facilities. Only one of those 11 plants opened after 2000.

But in the long run, building new geothermal plants would be a smart investment for California, according the new analysis from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and a clean energy trade group, the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies. The groups found that using Salton Sea geothermal to help meet the state's 50 percent clean energy mandate could save energy consumers $735 million per year by 2030.