Thursday, May 5, 2016

USA, California: Good Article on Plans to Build 250 MW Geothermal Power Plant by the Salton Sea

At Salton Sea, dreaming big on geothermal (The Desert Sun)

Australian Developers Plan To Build a Massive Geothermal Power Plant By The Salton Sea

Left to right: Controlled Thermal Resources executives Rod Colwell, Paul Horsburgh and Jason Czapla stand on Red Hill by the southern shore of the Salton Sea on April 29, 2016. (Photo: Robert Hopwood/The Desert Sun)
On a windy Friday morning last month, three men stood on Red Hill by the southern shore of the Salton Sea, admiring the geothermal power plants belching steam in the distance. The hill was once an island, but the water has long since receded, leaving a 100-foot-high pile of mud. The men had come from Australia to stand on that desolate hill. They weren't there for the mud, though, or for the water.

Rod Colwell pointed northeast along the shoreline toward Mullet Island, a small outcropping jutting into the water. Like Red Hill, it isn't actually an island anymore, and like Red Hill, it's considered an active volcano, although they've both been dormant for at least 2,000 years. There used to be a restaurant and dance hall on Mullet Island, built by the pioneer Charles Davis in 1908, just after the Colorado River broke through an irrigation canal and created the accidental lake known as the Salton Sea. Today only ruins remain — concrete foundations, a few toilets — but the outcropping is still named for the mullet fish Davis famously served at his restaurant.

Colwell plans to build a massive geothermal power plant nearby, and to name it after that restaurant: Hell's Kitchen.

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