News

Bottle Rock Power Corp to sort out operating violations

Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 19 Mar 2009

Bottle Rock Power Corp. facing county and state permit violations, "is currently working to sort out violations related to its geothermal operations on Cobb Mountain."

Locally reported, Bottle Rock Power Corp. facing county and state permit violations, “is currently working to sort out violations related to its geothermal operations on Cobb Mountain.

The power plant, currently owned by a partnership between US Renewables Group and Carlyle/Riverstone Renewable Energy Infrastructure Fund I, reopened in 2007 after being closed for many years. The Department of Water Resources had originally operated the plant.

Last fall, neighbors in the area began holding a series of public meetings with county officials and plant representatives over their concerns with a variety of plant-related issues, from noise and truck traffic to the disposal of materials created by geothermal drilling, as Lake County News has reported.

Rick Coel, director of Lake County’s Community Development Department, said the county sent the plant violation notices in the second week of January.

Melissa Floyd, the county’s geothermal coordinator, said the county’s issues with the plant involve drill cuttings left in a meadow, grading roads and firebreaks, reporting and contingency plans, construction of berms around drill pads, financial assurances, sumps – ponds used to store materials from the drilling – and freeboard, which is the space between the top of the materials in the sumps and the top of the basin.

The county required Bottle Rock Power to come into “substantial compliance” by March 1, with the understanding that some items on the list will require waiting until the dry season because they involve substantial grading, said Floyd. She said she’s received contingency plans for the completion of additional measures. The completion dates range from the coming weeks to after the end of the rainy season.”

According to the article the company is working feverishly on working issues out. Now, “the community expects to get a time line of when the plant’s improvements will be done, who will do them and the process that’s involved.” Another example of how important concerns of regional/ and neighboring stakeholders are in the process of developing a geothermal power project.

Sustainable Energy development also has to take into consideration community social responsibilities, both socially and environmentally.

Source: Lake County News/ California