IID Board adopts position on Senate bill for geothermal development

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EL CENTRO – At their regular meeting on Tuesday, April 22, the IID Board of Directors adopted supporting positions on SB 1139 and SCR 108.

Governmental Affairs Specialist with the IID Anthony Ortega follows state and federal proposals that move through the legislative process that may have a potential impact on the IID or its operations.

Ortega found two such proposals that are directly related to IID.

Senate Bill 1139, concerning geothermal development,  requires that electric utilities procure 500 megawatts of electricity from base load geothermal power plants by December 31, 2024. The procurement requirement for each utility would be based on a statewide proportionate share and at least one half of that share should be procured by December 31, 2019.

SB 1139 was co-authored by Senator Hueso and Assembly Member Perez.

This bill will be heard in the Senate Energy Utilities and Communications Committee Tuesday, April 29.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 108 concerns Geothermal Awareness Month. This resolution would recognize the month of May, 2014 as Geothermal Month and May 5 as Geothermal Day. It would urge the Air Resources Board, the Energy Commission, and the Public Utilities Commission to immediately take necessary actions to ensure the continued viability of California’s existing geothermal resources and promote the procurement of new geothermal generation.

SCR 108 was introduced by Senators Evans and Hueso and co-authored by Senators DeSaulnier and Fuller, as well as Assembly Members Chesbro, Dahle, Jones-Sawyer, Perez, and Yamada.

With the Salton Sea Restoration and Renewable Energy Initiative in place, these two proposals will work to bring geothermal generation to the forefront. The Salton Sea area has the potential of up to 2,000 megawatts of geothermal development. Imperial County has long been a known geothermal resource area with many geothermal plants already in place.