By: Susan Kraemer
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has signed a lease for exploring geothermal potential in Imperial County near the Salton Sea; as part of meeting its goal to make 40% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
It is offering to lease the land, initially for 5 years of exploration and study at $295,000 annually representing $100 per acre per year, under a MOU regarding “Imperial Valley Geothermal Feasibility and Exploration” while it determines the feasibility of geothermal production there.
A Secondary Term grants the option to extend the term for serial terms “for so long thereafter as Lessee continues to produce geothermal resources in commercial quantities from wells located on the property”.
LADWP is the largest municipal utility in the US; its membership consists of eleven cities and an irrigation district that supply electricity to Southern California, including the municipal utilities.
LADWP currently gets only 5% of its energy from renewable power, but is looking into expanding that very rapidly - to 40% by 2020. By contrast, Alameda Municipal Power already provides 56% renewable energy to the Island of Alameda near downtown Oakland. 41% comes from geothermal, 9% from landfill gas and 6% from wind.
Sacramento’s SMUD makes 20% of its power from renewable sources, and it also encourages businesses and homeowners to make renewable energy by offering to buy it; and not just from solar and wind power, but it will also pay businesses that generate heat to capture it to make combined heat & power.