DAVIS, CA – The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) today joined with other influential groups in endorsing the Salton Sea Restoration and Renewable Energy Initiative. Steve Ponder, GRC Executive Director, delivered a resolution backing the initiative, to the Senate Select Committee for California’s Energy Independence and Assembly Select Committee of the Renewable Energy Economy in Rural California at a joint informational hearing for legislators at the California State Capitol in Sacramento.
According to the Imperial Irrigation District (IID), “the Salton Sea Restoration & Renewable Energy Initiative, launched by the Imperial Irrigation District in partnership with Imperial County, will leverage funds generated by new renewable energy projects located at the Sea to help finance activities for air quality management and habitat restoration.”
The IID further explains, “The Initiative will first focus on developing up to 1,700 megawatts of new geothermal energy at the Sea – enough to power more than one million homes. Not only is there more geothermal generating capacity in the Imperial Valley than anywhere else in the U.S., but geothermal energy can be produced with minimal impact on landscape and habitat. It also provides a steady, reliable source of energy to the state electricity grid that is not subject to weather or seasonal fluctuations.”
According to GRC Executive Director, Steve Ponder, “The Imperial Valley has the largest confirmed geothermal reservoirs in the USA. These reserves are generally considered by geothermal experts to be between 1500 MW and 2500 MWs. These estimates are orders of magnitude larger that any other geothermal potential reserves in known geothermal areas in the USA.”
The GRC Board resolution notes that “the Salton Sea Known Geothermal Resource Area (SSKGRA) is one of the greatest opportunities for new geothermal energy development in the United States.”
It points out some of the advantages of the initiatives as:
- Creating thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of permanent jobs and bringing other substantial economic benefits to Southern California;
- Providing consumers affordable, long-term electric price stability through a renewable baseload fuel supply that does not fluctuate; and
- Enhancing environmental quality and supporting species habitat conservation.