Friday, December 22, 2017

USA, California: State Spokesman Suggests Permits for Geothermal Power Projects at Salton Sea Could be Issued Soon

Water cutoff accelerates shrinking of Salton Sea, escalating race against retreating shorelines (The Desert Sun)

California officials are years behind in preparing and carrying out plans to deal with the lake’s decline. But as the end-of-2017 deadline approached, Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration in March released a $383-million plan to build wetlands and control dust around the Salton Sea over the next 10 years.

The Imperial Irrigation District (IID) owns large pieces of land and lakebed along the south shore of the Salton Sea, where one of the planet’s most powerful geothermal energy zones runs along the San Andreas Fault.

The state’s plan contemplates the development of more geothermal power plants near the south shore. There are now 11 geothermal plants in the area, and the state’s plan requires that canals and ponds be built to ensure access to areas where new plants could be built.

Negotiating easements that preserve rights for geothermal development along the south shore has taken longer than anticipated, said Bruce Wilcox, the state’s assistant secretary of Salton Sea policy.

“That has slowed things down, some permitting has slowed things down a little bit,” Wilcox said. “But I think we are very close to getting those done.”

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