Black Rock 1 2 3 Geothermal Power Project (Formerly Salton Sea Geothermal)

Docket Number:

02-AFC-02 (Application For Certification)
02-AFC-02C (Compliance Proceeding)

Project Status: Licensed; In Compliance Phase: On Hold Before Construction

Key Dates


CE Obsidian Energy, LLC (Applicant) currently possesses a license to construct a geothermal generating plant on an 80-acre site in Imperial County, California. The project was designated as Salton Sea Unit 6 (docket # 02-AFC-2) and was originally granted a license by the California Energy Commission in December 2003 for a 185 MW plant. The original 2003 license was amended in May 2005 to enable the plant to increase its capacity to 215 MW. The Applicant petitioned, and the California Energy Commission subsequently granted, an extension to the Salton Sea Unit 6 license, making it effective until December 18, 2011.

In December, 2011, a petition to amend was approved for Salton Sea Unit 6 to amend its license to allow for the construction of three smaller geothermal plants totaling 159 MW net of generating capacity. The project would also become named Black Rock 1, 2, 3. The configurations of both the former 185 MW and 215 MW projects proposed using multiple flash geothermal power generating technology, while the Amended Project proposes single flash technology, which requires less facility infrastructure, and produces less waste compared to multiple flash technology.

The three units will be co-located on the same site as the original SSU6 project and will share various common auxiliary facilities. The site is currently used for agriculture. Land uses in the surrounding area include existing geothermal power facilities, agriculture, and the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge. The original project site was comprised of an 80-acre site bounded on the north by McKendry Road, on the east by Boyle Road, on the west by Severe Road, and on the south by Peterson Road. The Amended Project includes the original 80-acre site plus an additional 80 acres adjacent to the south, part of which was used for construction support in the original project. The three power plants will be situated generally in the middle of the site with production well pads on the northern, western, and southern perimeters of the site.

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:

Dale Rundquist
Compliance Project Manager
Siting, Transmission and Environmental Protection (STEP) Division
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-2000
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-651-2072

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

Original Proceeding



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