Bottle Rock Geothermal Power Plant (BRP)

Docket Number:

79-AFC-04 (Application For Certification)
79-AFC-04C (Compliance Proceeding)

Project Status: Licensed; In Compliance Phase.
Operational: October 1, 2007

The California Energy Commission approved this project's Application For Certification on December 13, 2006. The Commission monitors the power plant's construction, operation and eventual decommissioning through a compliance proceeding.

Key Dates

  • 8/2/2006 - Application for Certification (AFC) filed
  • 12/13/2006 - Commission approves Application for Certification.
  • 10/1/2007 - Power plant on line and producing power.


On July 27, 1979, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) filed an Application for Certification (AFC) for the 55 megawatt (MW) Bottle Rock Geothermal Project. As a geothermal AFC, following a Notice of Intention, the project went through a nine-month licensing proceeding, including a separate Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The DWR Bottle Rock Geothermal Project (Bottle Rock) received unanimous Energy Commission certification on November 5, 1980. Bottle Rock was constructed and began operating In February 1985.

Steam supply became a critical problem for Bottle Rock and while the South Geysers area had insufficient steam to make completion of construction worthwhile, the area near Bottle Rock had too little steam for the facility to continue generation. The steam field for Bottle Rock could only produce about 15 MW instead of the licensed 55 MW capacity.

In November 1990, DWR suspended operation of the Bottle Rock project and the plant was eventually placed into cold stand-by state. In April 1993, the Energy Commission approved an amendment modifying monitoring and reporting requirements in consideration of the plant's shutdown status. More recent notices and amendments are available through links on this page.

Bottle Rock was sold in 2001 to a private party, and ownership transferred from DWR to the Bottle Rock Corporation. U.S. Renewables Group purchased the power plant in October, 2005. In 2006 Bottle Rock was sold to Bottle Rock Power, LLC.

Bottle Rock is currently undergoing renovation and new wells are being drilled with the intention of operating the facility at its licensed 55 MW capacity.

Energy Commission Facility Certification Process

The California Energy Commission is the lead agency (for licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts and larger) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and has a certified regulatory program under CEQA. Under its certified program, the Energy Commission is exempt from having to prepare an environmental impact report. Its certified program, however, does require environmental analysis of the project, including an analysis of alternatives and mitigation measures to minimize any significant adverse effect the project may have on the environment.

For Questions About This Siting Case Contact:

Bruce Boyer
Compliance Project Manager
Siting, Transmission and Environmental Protection (STEP) Division
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-2000
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-653-7181

For Questions About Participation In Siting Cases Contact:

Public Adviser
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-12 Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-654-4489
Toll-Free in California: 1-800-822-6228

News Media Please Contact:

Media & Public Communications Office
Phone: 916-654-4989

Compliance Proceeding

Complaint and Investigation 12-CAI-04

Original Proceeding



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