Tuesday, June 13, 2017

USA, California: CalEnergy Suggests Geothermal-Powered Seawater Desalination Project

Two paths for long-term fixes at California’s shrinking sea (The Desert Sun)

Near the southeastern shore of the Salton Sea, hot steam bubbles up from the earth and gurgles out of mud volcanoes, rising into the air.

This active geothermal zone runs along the San Andreas Fault, where geologic forces allow the Earth’s natural heat to rise near the surface, creating one of the world's most powerful geothermal hot spots. The energy reservoir extends beneath the Salton Sea, where underwater vents release steam that rises in boiling circles of bubbles on the lake’s surface.

As California officials struggle to decide on long-term fixes for the receding lake, there’s new momentum around an old idea: importing seawater from Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, and using the area’s plentiful geothermal power to desalinate that water. A subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy, which already operates 10 geothermal plants in the area, is developing a seawater desalination proposal and has pitched it to lawmakers in Sacramento.