Californian utility SMUD signs 100 MW geothermal PPA with Calpine

Californian utility SMUD signs 100 MW geothermal PPA with Calpine Geothermal plant at The Geysers, California (source: Calpine)
Alexander Richter 4 Apr 2022

Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) signs 100 MW geothermal power purchase agreement with Calpine on the delivery from the geothermal operations at The Geysers, California.

Reported today, local utility Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) approved a 100-MW contract with Calpine Corporation for geothermal power from The Geysers, in California marking a major step forward toward the 2030 Zero Carbon Plan.

“SMUD is on course to eliminate all carbon emissions from the power supply by 2030, and our new partnership with Calpine and The Geysers brings us a step closer to that vision,” said SMUD CEO and General Manager Paul Lau. “Wind, solar, emerging battery storage systems and geothermal resources are the types of investments we will pursue to achieve a clean energy future that leaves no community behind.”

The 10-year power purchase agreement for 100 MW of energy from Calpine’s operations at The Geysers was approved by the SMUD Board of Directors on March 16. Once the contract takes effect on January 1, 2023, it will add 100 MW of geothermal energy to SMUD’s portfolio, enough to power about 100,000 homes for a year. The addition of this renewable energy source is equivalent to removing 342,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, so the company in its statement.

Located north of San Francisco, The Geysers is the single largest geothermal electrical operation in the world. A geothermal resource occurs when water deep below the earth’s surface is heated by exposure to hot, porous and permeable rock resulting in dry steam or hot water. At The Geysers, dry, superheated steam is produced. Steam production wells about two miles deep are drilled to tap this naturally occurring steam. Once the steam reaches the surface, it is piped overland to a network of interconnected power plants where it spins conventional steam turbines that drive generators to produce clean, reliable electricity for California.

“Calpine is proud to support SMUD’s ambitious approach to clean energy under the 2030 Zero Carbon Plan,” said Gevan Reeves, Calpine’s Vice President of Origination. “Geothermal power from The Geysers is available every hour of every day, which means we can help SMUD deliver reliable, renewable energy to customers across Sacramento County and its service area in portions of Placer and Yolo Counties. We’re grateful to SMUD for choosing Calpine for this bold effort, which will strengthen our entire community, including Lake and Sonoma Counties, where hundreds of hardworking employees help produce reliable, geothermal energy for California.”

About Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is the U.S. sixth-largest, community-owned, not-for-profit electric service provider, SMUD has been providing low-cost, reliable electricity to Sacramento County for more than 75 years. SMUD is a recognized industry leader and award winner for its innovative energy efficiency programs, renewable power technologies and for its sustainable solutions for a healthier environment. In 2020, SMUD’s power supply was more than 60 percent carbon free, and SMUD has a goal to reach zero carbon in its electricity production by 2030. For more information on SMUD’s Zero Carbon Plan and its customer programs, visit

Source: Press release by email