The Geysers geothermal field is the largest producer of geothermal electricity in the world. It is located in the Mayacamas Mountains at the border of Lake and Sonoma counties, and covers more than 45 square miles. Commercial geothermal power has been continuously generated at The Geysers since 1960. The geothermal plants use heat from the earth’s interior to produce electricity around the clock.
Since the late 1970’s, the California Energy Commission licensed 11 geothermal projects at The Geysers. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), the California Department of Water Resources, the Northern California Power Agency (NCPA), the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, and Occidental Geothermal were the initial developers of geothermal power plants at The Geysers. As part of electricity deregulation, in 1999, PG&E sold all of its geothermal power plants to Calpine Corporation.
There are currently 18 geothermal plants in operation at The Geysers producing about 835 megawatts. Calpine owns and operates 15 plants. NCPA operates two plants and Bottle Rock Power, LLC, operates one power plant.
NCPA and Geysers Power Company, LLC, a subsidiary of Calpine, have received grants from the California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program. NCPA received funding in 2004, while Geysers was awarded money in 2011.
Photo of McCabe Unit 5 and 6 courtesy of Calpine Corporation. Photos of NCPA Plant #2 courtesy of the California Energy Commission
The geothermal plants use heat from the earth’s interior to produce electricity around the clock.
Calpine’s plants have the capacity to generate 725 megawatts, enough green energy to power San Francisco.
An estimated 300 full-time operational jobs were created to operate Calpine’s geothermal plants.
Type of Project
Calpine has proposed two new geothermal power plants, each capable of producing up to 49 megawatts. The North Geysers project would be the first new plants constructed at The Geysers since 1989. The construction schedule will be set when power purchase agreements and additional permits are obtained.
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Electric vehicle manufacturing
Electric vehicle charging infrastructure
Smart grid/solar/wind/fuel cell/advanced energy storage/solar thermal
Zero net energy mixed use, multi-unit housing communities