BLM initiating environmental assessment for San Emidio II geothermal development in Nevada

San Emidio geothermal power plant, Nevada (source: U.S. Geothermal)
Alexander Richter 8 Jan 2020

The Bureau of Land Management in Nevada is now initating an environmental assessment for the expansion of the San Emidio geothermal power plant in Nevada.

As reported on its website, the Bureau of Land Management in the State of Nevada is initiating an environmental assessment to analyze the San Emidio II – North Valley Geothermal Development Project proposed by Ormat Technologies Inc.

The 24,000 acre San Emidio Geothermal Unit includes nine federal geothermal leases and is located in the San Emidio Desert approximately 15 miles southwest of Gerlach, Nevada. The area has a long history of geothermal exploration and production that began in the late-1980s with the construction of the 3.6-megawatt Empire Geothermal Plant.

The San Emidio II Project advances the Trump Administration’s America First Energy Plan, an “all of the above” strategy that supports energy development on public lands, improving infrastructure, and creating jobs in local economies. The project also supports Executive Order 13783Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth; and Secretary’s Order 3349American Energy Independence.

As part of this project, the BLM is analyzing the environmental effects of upgrading the current plant and potentially building a new power plant to produce 40 megawatts of electricity. Other construction will include a substation, up to 25 total geothermal production and injection wells, approximately 7.5 miles of aboveground pipelines and an approximately 58-mile long 120 kilovolt overhead power line originating at the power plant that will terminate at the NV Energy Eagle Substation near Fernley, Nevada.

To generate power at the proposed facility, geothermal liquid pumped to the surface by the proposed production wells would be circulated in a closed-loop binary energy production system then reinjected back into underground geothermal reservoirs through the proposed injection wells. The proposed aboveground pipelines would move the geothermal liquids from the wells to the power plants and back to the injection wells. The proposed overhead power line would transport the energy generated to the Eagle Substation for transport to the commercial market.

Public comments on issues to be analyzed in the environmental assessment are welcome during the 30-day public scoping period. The comment period starts Jan. 06 and extends through close of business Feb. 10. Comments can be submitted by any of the following methods:

5100 E. Winnemucca Blvd.

Winnemucca, NV 89445

The project website will also provide details and documents about the proposed project.

Source: BLM Nevada