Thursday, December 1, 2016

USA, California: Geothermal Resources Can Play an Important Role in the Salton Sea’s Restoration

How Salton Sea's Geothermal resources could help save it (The San Diego Union-Tribune)

by Bill Corcoran, Western Regional Campaign Director, Sierra Club & Nick Segura, business manager for IBEW 569.

Sunset over Hoch-VIulan, by Alexander Schriener Jr. View of sunset with Vulcan and Hoch power plants in foreground at Salton Sea Field, Imperial Valley CA. View looking west, Region-1 in distance. Natural colors. Taken 5-Dec-13. 2016 GRC Photo Contest.
The Salton Sea region has some of the best and largest geothermal resources in the United States. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, at a minimum there is a potential for at least 1,350 megawatts of new geothermal to be developed at the Salton Sea by 2030.

Geothermal resources can play an important role in the sea’s restoration. This clean energy resource is reliable and will reduce the need to burn more fossil fuels. On top of cutting climate altering pollution, geothermal projects can cover exposed playa, which will reduce dust emissions that damage the lungs of all who lives in the area. In addition to cutting emissions over the long-term, geothermal energy will provide steady power when other clean energy resources ramp down. Additionally, the massive amounts of geothermal potential brings incredible opportunities to create career paths into good middle-class jobs with family health care, skilled apprenticeship training and pension retirement. 

If we build out just 500 megawatts of geothermal, it will create millions of works hours in construction, operations and maintenance jobs for a region that suffers from a 21 percent unemployment rate. The taxes and other revenue sources will help local governments.