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50 Years of Development at The Geysers
The Fourth Decade - 1990s

Map of the Geysers Geothermal Field © Geysers Geothermal Assn. 2010

Commercial Development at The Geysers from 1990-1999

1990 Unocal, Freeport McMoran, NCPA collaborative technical pilot project tests injection effects of low pressure, high superheat area in the SE Geysers. The success of this demonstration leads to future effluent injection projects.

1992 Unocal restructures. Calpine buys remaining interest of Freeport-McMoran at The Geysers.

1993 Calpine buys Thermal Power steamfield interests.

1995 Calpine buys Santa Fe steamfield interests.

Dedication of the Lake County System’s first phase on Oct. 16, 1997. Initial delivery rate was approximately 5,400 gpm of injected fluid.

1997 The Lake County Southeast Geysers Effluent Pipeline Project begins operations. The pipeline project project is the first recycled water-to-electricity project in the world. The 29-mile underground pipeline delivers eight million gallons of treated reclaimed water to The Geysers every day to be recycled into the geothermal resource.

1998 The Santa Rosa Geysers Recharge Project is selected to transport 11 million gallons of treated recycled water per day to The Geysers through a 41 mile underground pipeline. Water will then then be recycled back into the ground, heated, and used as steam to power the plants.

1998 Calpine buys SMUD-GEO1 steamfield interests.

1999 Calpine acquires remaining Unocal leases and the PG&E power Plants

Technical Advances and Legislation at The Geysers 1990 - 1999

1992 Department of Energy (DOE) publishes Geysers Monograph Special Report 17. Publication is based on technical Geysers papers presented at the 1989 GRC annual conference.

1996 NCPA modified its Plant 1, Unit 2 turbine to a low pressure turbine, along with the steam field piping and computer control systems allowing full utilization of lower pressure steam as reservoir pressure declines.

NCPA’s modified low-pressure turbine is checked by Murray Grande, prior to startup. This system boosts efficiency.

1996 Assembly Bill 1090, provided the legistlative guidance for restructuring of the electric industry in California.

1998 Seismic Monitoring Advisory Committee (SMAC) was formed.

To view the period of Commercial Development of The Geysers from
2000 - 2009, click here

Map of the Current Geysers Geothermal Field

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Geysers Geothermal Association Website (Updated April 20, 2011)
All rights reserved. © 2011 Dorothy Beebee