Western GeoPower Unit 1 – The Geysers


Geothermal power plants release virtually no emissions. The power plant will include a multistage non-condensable gas extraction system using ejectors and a liquid ring vacuum pump. There will be primary and secondary hydrogen sulphide (H2S) abatement systems. (Typical Geysers plants separate, dewater and recycle sulfur as feedstock for sulfuric acid production). A mercury removal system also will be included if, after drilling and testing the resource; it is determined to be required.

Water sources and water quality are protected as excess water from the condenser and cooling tower is injected to the geothermal reservoir. Land disturbance is minimal as the project utilizes existing infrastructure including access roads, well pads and plant site and is immediately adjacent to an existing transmission line.

The project is compatible with existing surrounding land uses. Power production produces minimal noise (typically below 35-45 dBA during operation). The minimal footprint reduces visual impacts. The land surrounding The Geysers continues to support a strong wildlife population and remains a desired hunting destination.

WGP’s Unit 1 project is expected to be consistent with California’s Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) goals. Replacement of combustion-produced power with geothermal results in reduced burning of fossil fuels, improved environmental quality and public health, and reduces dependence on imported fuels.

(The 2,800 megawatts of electricity generated from geothermal resources in the U.S. is roughly equal to 24 million barrels of oil, 7.5 million tons of coal and 8.6 billion pounds of carbon in the form of CO2 or 152 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 4.8 billion pounds of carbon.)

Geothermal has a higher capacity factor than other renewables such as solar or wind as it is not dependent on climate, season or time of day. Geothermal power promotes stable electricity prices, creates sustainable economic development and creates new employment opportunities. Design, construction and operation of the proposed facility will bring a diversity of both short- and long-term jobs to the community.