Valley Geothermal project takes top award

Phase One Geothermal project’s layout will be repeated up to two times more to create one of the Salton Sea’s largest such projects. Image Courtesy Controlled Thermal Resources

SAN FRANCISCO – Controlled Thermal Resources (CTR) has won the Project of the Year Award for Sustainability for its Hell’s Kitchen geothermal project in the Salton Sea at the 9th North American Infrastructure Leadership Forum, in San Francisco on October 29, 2017, CTR announced Monday.

“These are great news for this largest new geothermal project in the United States and very good news for the Salton Sea, Imperial Valley and geothermal development,” said the company in the release.

In its 9th year, the North American Infrastructure Leadership Forum presented the top 50 infrastructure projects required for bringing the world back to growth and job-producing competitiveness. According to the report, these projects offer tremendous business opportunities for financial, equipment and technology, engineering and construction firms as well as for the public sector. Projects presented include surface transportation, water and wastewater, new and traditional energy, urban mass transportation, oil & energy, ports & logistics and digital infrastructure.

CTR is on of a team of geothermal project developers who aim to construct and operate the largest geothermal power plant in the Imperial Valley. Another team is planning the engineering, construction, and operation of a companion plant that will use a proprietary carbon-dioxide-negative technology to recover minerals such as lithium from the geo­thermal plant’s brine before it is reinjected into the reservoir. Operating together, the plants will compose a CO2-negative, renewable-energy power producer.

CTR is developing the Hell’s Kitchen Geothermal project on the southeast shore of the Salton Sea, drawing on “a very robust resource,” says Jim Turner, business development manager. Being developed now for an estimated cost of more than $500 million, the first phase will consist of a pair of three-inlet, 140-MW (gross) turbines. Following completion and commissioning of phase one, a twin plant will be built adjacent, with a planned third on the 1,880-acre leasehold. The total cost of the 750-MW (net) development will be less than $1 billion, Turner says.


  1. Math Prof – Good catch, should have read “$8k – $10k per kW” not MW.

    Ok, typical wind farm installed costs are running about $1,500 per kW of capacity. So, 750 MW * $1,500 * 1,000 kW/MW = $1,125,000,000 for a 750 MW wind farm.

    The stated cost in the article for the 750 MW geothermal project was less than $1billion. $1,000,000,000 / 750 MW / 1,000 kW/MW = $1,333 per kW of capacity for the geothermal project, much less than a wind farm.

    Last public costs to build a geothermal project in the Imperial Valley is $400 million for the 50 MW John Featherstone plant.

    $400,000,000 / 50 MW / 1,000 kW/MW = $8,000 per kW of capacity for the Featherstone project.

    Using the $8k per kW as the lower end for costs: $8,000/kW * 750 MW * 1,000 kW/MW = $6,000,000,000 for the CTR project

    Using $10k per kW as the upper end for costs: $10,000/kW * 750 MW * 1,000 kW/MW = $7,500,000,000 for CTR

  2. Less than $1 billion capital cost for a 750 MW geothermal project in Imperial Valley?

    That’s less capital cost than for a wind project of the same size. I would think that a 750 MW geothermal project would be $8,000 – $10,000 per MW, for a total build cost of between $6 billion and $7.5 billion.