Geothermal news briefs from California and Nevada

Read about geothermal-related revenue projected through the Salton Sea, California program. In Nevada, an audit looks at well inspections.

*California: Geothermal and Related New Revenue at Salton Sea Projected at $4 Billion Over 30 Years
*Nevada: State, BLM Seek Better Inspections System for Oil and Geothermal Wells

Imperial Irrigation District has completed a study on proposed geothermal and other clean energy development at the Salton Sea, and the report was scheduled to be presented to IID’s Board of Directors on January 7. On the same date a major authorization for restoration-related work was up for vote, the next step in efforts to marry restoration efforts at Salton Sea with utilization of its geothermal resources.

The study shows clean technologies could generate more than $4 billion over the next 30 years, with about $2 billion of that coming from geothermal plants and another $1.5 billion coming from extraction of lithium and other minerals from geothermal brine. The remainder would come from solar projects, algae farming, and royalties from transmission lines. Bruce Wilcox, IID’s environmental program manager for the sea told press the projected revenues in the new report would “jump-start Salton Sea restoration.” The IID board would ultimately decide what percentage of the revenues go to Salton Sea restoration, but Wilcox put the estimate at half or more. In May, IID was awarded $700,000 for the project through the state, and in June, the board approved a six-month, $60,000 contract with Diversity Consulting Group to promote the Salton Sea Renewable Energy & Restoration Initiative to stakeholders. An additional 12-month, $25,000/month agreement is in the works and would need approval as well.

In Nevada, a legislative audit says the Division of Minerals inspects its oil and geothermal wells infrequently. A Las Vegas Review Journal article said the state and the Bureau of Land Management are seeking a better system for required tests like well blowout prevention tests. The audit also provided information on production, showing that in 2012, 2.4 million megawatt hours of electricity (enough to power 219,000 homes) were provided by Nevada geothermal wells.

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