Churchill County in Nevada might see 2 additional geothermal plants
The Bureau of Land Management's Stillwater Field office and Carson City District Office intend to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Salt Wells Energy projects proposed by Sierra Pacific, Ormat Technologies and Vulcan Power Co.
Reported by local news, “Two more geothermal plants are on the horizon for Churchill County with the “Bureau of Land Management’s Stillwater Field office and Carson City District Office intending to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Salt Wells Energy projects proposed by Sierra Pacific, Ormat Technologies and Vulcan Power Co.
The separate projects would eventually result in seven 30- to 60-megawatt geothermal power plants.
The EIS will analyze the direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of the proposed projects. The EIS is also intended to cover the impacts in operation of the plants and facilities and should be able to support state licensing issuance requirements.
Terri Knutsen, Stillwater field manager, said the project begins with the notice of intent and was followed by request for proposals to contractors. The proposed geothermal plant projects presented to commissioners was also a public meeting for residents.
Mark Sullivan of NV Energy, said the plants would serve two different needs — reliability and interconnection to existing plants. County Manager Brad Goetsch wanted to know if funding is available for the project to proceed and was told yes. He also wanted to know when the project would begin and Ken Bonin of Vulcan Power informed him that the plan is scheduled for the beginning of 2010.
Scott Kessler of Ormat Technologies said the nearest neighbor to the 32-foot high facility would be 1,000 feet away. The project will cost between $80 million to $100 million.
“It’s on private property, so we will be coming to the county for a special-use permit,” Kessler said.
Under questioning from Commissioner Norm Frey, Kessler said about five people live within a half mile of the plant located 10 to 15 miles southeast of Fallon.
Kessler said the noise from the geothermal plants are no louder than his normal voice, and the only sound individuals may hear is a low humming sound.
Knutsen said they are performing the analysis and are moving forward with the project. She also said public comments will be accepted at any time. “We hear this is important to you, and it is important to us, too, and we will be moving very quickly,” she said.
Planning Director Eleanor Lockwood said the sides needed to get together because the county has revised regulations for geothermal plants. “We certainly do not want to impose any arduous regulations,” Lockwood said. “I do promise that we will work with you.”
Source: Lahontan Valley News