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Geothermal plant granted permit

By Aidan Freeman | | PUBLISHED: September 27, 2018 at 3:06 pm | UPDATED: September 27, 2018 at 3:09 pm

LAKEPORT — A geothermal power plant located about one mile from the community of Anderson Springs was approved Thursday by the Lake County Planning Commission for a use permit extension which will endure for the entire productive life of the project.

The Bear Canyon Power Plant is owned by Calpine Corporation and has been out of service since 2015. When in operation, the plant, according to Environmental Planner Eric Porter, can generate enough power to serve 10,000 homes, representing 20 percent of Lake County's geothermal energy output. Calpine is currently undecided about whether or not the plant will be put back into service, but as Regional Manager Bruce Carlsen suggested, a “life of project” permit is better for business than a time-restricted one. “We think ‘life of the project' is really good for our business,” Carlsen said. Calpine, which had been a publicly traded entity, went private earlier in 2018.

The Bear Canyon plant would not, under the permit issued Thursday, be allowed to expand or change the plant's operations, and Environmental Planner Eric Porter, who presented Calpine's request, commented that the plant was “not changing in size.” Under the permit issued, Calpine can resume operation of the plant if the company sees fit, or in the case that “reclamation” was decided on, Calpine would demolish the structures already present on the property.

Anderson Springs resident Joan Clay argued that the “productive life of the project” allowance does not put enough limitation on Calpine. “Every time we come it's life of the project,” she said. “It doesn't give Anderson Springs a lot of security.”

A “life of project” permit certainly gives more decision-making power to Calpine than a time-based permit would. Responding to Clay's concerns, District 2 Planning Commissioner Bob Malley said that determination of when the project is at “end of life” will be at Calpine's sole discretion.

courtesy of The Record Bee, September 27, 2018


The GGA hosts 3 Meetings per year to which you are welcome!

The Geysers Geothermal Association, a non-profit association, is comprised of the various companies that constitute the geothermal industry in Lake and Sonoma Counties.

The purpose of the Geysers Geothermal Association is to address the issues related to the geothermal industry at The Geysers area and to serve as an educational and interchange forum for our members.

Our goal is to promote the public's understanding of the positive contribution the geothermal industry makes to Lake and Sonoma Counties and the State of California.

We attempt to meet this goal through our working committees that address health & safety, legislative, environmental as well as community issues.

Please join the Geysers Geothermal Association!

This is the official website of the Geysers Geothermal Association (GGA), a non-profit association comprised of the various companies that constitute the geothermal industry at The Geysers in Lake and Sonoma counties in Northern California.

Geysers Geothermal Association Website (Updated October 03, 2018)
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