CalEnergy to invest up to $1billion in improvements to geothermal plants
CalEnergy has been operating in the Imperial Valley for more than 25 years and will be investing more than $1 billion in capital improvements to its existing facilities to sustain its Salton Sea operations for another 30 years.
CalEnergy, a subsidiary of BHE Renewables, executed a contract with the Imperial Irrigation District to provide Imperial and Coachella Valley residents and businesses with 50 megawatts of renewable geothermal energy through 2029.
CalEnergy is leading the efforts that promote geothermal procurement in the state of California to enable a reliable electrical grid. The company has been operating in the Imperial Valley for more than 25 years and will be investing more than $1 billion in capital improvements to its existing facilities to sustain its Salton Sea operations for another 30 years. CalEnergy is the largest contributor to the local tax base, which benefits the local communities by supporting local schools and other Imperial County improvements.
“IID’s forward thinking will greatly benefit its customers with this reliable renewable energy for years to come,” said Bill Fehrman, president of BHE Renewables. “We are pleased to provide one of the cleanest sources of baseload generation to IID and look forward to continuing to work with the district to meet its renewable energy needs.”
Last year, CalEnergy announced its new portfolio contract structure for geothermal marketing. Rather than contracting power from individual plants, all of the facilities are marketed together as a group, providing a more diversified supply and additional flexibility with volume and timing to meet customers’ renewable energy supply needs.
“We remain committed to economic development in Imperial County and the Salton Sea Known Geothermal Resource Area, where our geothermal power plants are located,” said Fehrman. “It is important to the future of our community and environment, and we will continue doing our part to facilitate growth of the renewable energy economy for many years to come.”
Long a proponent of geothermal energy, the announcement of this new contract comes on the heels of a recent announcement by IID that, as of the end of 2017, it will be ending its involvement with coal power generation. Instead, it will look to add more local renewable resources to its energy portfolio.
“As the state of California moves aggressively toward a clean energy future, renewable resources located in the Salton Sea region and the greater Imperial and Coachella Valleys will play a key role in meeting those goals,” said Stephen Benson, president, IID board of directors. “The value of the geothermal industry to our region and local economy is strengthened by the addition of CalEnergy’s contract to the district’s portfolio. In approving this contract today, we not only provide job security for many local residents, we create new jobs and add new tax revenues resulting from the planned capital improvements to the existing plants.”
Source: Press Release by BHE Renewables