Coso Geothermal can finally revitalize reservoir at its geothermal plant

Alexander Richter 30 May 2009

Coso Operating Company can finally move ahead with its Hay Ranch project, that will pump water into the depleted reservoir at its geothermal plant in Inyo County, after four years of legal battles.

Reported locally, Coso Operating Company can finally move ahead “with its Hay Ranch project after the Inyo County Board Supervisors approved the project on May 6, after four years of analysis, environmental review and multiple visits to court rooms and public hearings.”

“Coso representatives said that they are excited to finally be moving forward with the project designed to increase energy production at the Southern Inyo geothermal facility. The project involves Coso pumping water from its Hay Ranch property, and piping the water more than nine miles to be injected into the power plant’s geothermal reservoir that has been depleted through evaporation over the 20 years of the plant’s life.”

Opposition for the project has come from environmental groups and the owners of the Little Lake Ranch and Hunting Club, worried that the pumping will cause irreparable damage to the lake and surrounding riparian area.

Part of the Conditional Use Permit issued to Coso contains mitigation measures that would prevent the pumping from causing serious damage to the environment.

Chris Ellis, the geothermal plant site manager, said Coso is excited to get started on the Hay Ranch project. “Use of fluids from the Hay Ranch to support the generation of clean, renewable energy from Inyo County is an effective method of utilizing the county’s natural resource to promote business, provide jobs and solidify the future of Inyo County citizens in an environmentally responsible manner.”

The approval of the US$14 million project is the largest private enterprise project ever approved by the county.”

Source: Inyo Register