(Sacramento, CA)Â â€“ The Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee approvedÂ SB 1139 today, authored by Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) together with principal co-author Assemblymember Manuel PÃ©rez (D-Coachella).Â The bill requires energy retail sellers and local publicly owned electric utilities to procure 500 megawatts of electricity from baseload geothermal power plants by 2024.
â€œThis bill is directionally important. The clean electric system of the future has to have more baseload generation. We have abundant geothermal resources in this state that are underutilized,â€ said Senator Hueso. â€œCalifornia utilities are dramatically increasing their renewable energy portfolios with wind and solar resources, but not effectively increasing the utilization of geothermal power. The long term electric supply portfolio serving Californians should include much greater reliance on geothermal resources to achieve a balanced Renewable Portfolio Standard as we move toward a carbon-free generation supply.â€
â€œGeothermal, with its ability to provide base load power with negligible greenhouse gas emissions, has the potential to anchor southern Californiaâ€™s energy needs, while keeping us on track to achieve our stateâ€™s emissions reductions goals,â€ said Assemblyman V. Manuel PÃ©rez.Â â€œEither we are serious about these goals or we arenâ€™t.Â At the same time, the development of these resources could produce thousands of jobs for our Coachella and Imperial Valley communities while also serving as a source of financing for Salton Sea restoration.â€
SB 1139 was approved on a vote of 6-2 and now heads to Senate Appropriations Committee.