News and analysis about energy in California with an eye toward renewables.

L.A. to Buy More Geothermal Power From Northern Nevada

The Gabbs Valley will supply Los Angeles with geothermal power | Photo: Ken Lund/Flickr/Creative Commons License

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) is set to start buying electricity from a new geothermal generating station in northern Nevada, DWP announced today on Twitter. Unless the Los Angeles City Council decides to intervene in the next few days, 13.71 megawatts of power from the Wild Rose Geothermal Facility near Gabbs, NV will start flowing toward L.A.'s grid in January 2014.

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The 20-year power purchase agreement, which is part of a deal that also involves Burbank's municipal electrical utility, will set DWP back $99 per megawatt-hour, for an anticipated cost of $11 million a year.

The DWP's announcement came in low-key form Monday morning on Twitter:

The 35-megawatt Wild Rose facility, owned by the geothermal firm Ormat, is now under construction in Mineral County, Nevada west of Gabbs. Approved by the BLM only a few months ago, the plant is expected to begin generating power late this year.


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About the Author

Chris Clarke is a natural history writer and environmental journalist currently at work on a book about the Joshua tree. He lives in Joshua Tree.
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Great news - a very solid investment. A steady supply of electricity that doesn't vary with the weather! Always available 24/7, 365.


Hmmm. Where will they draw the water from? These plants average net water losses of anywhere from 1/4 gallon/kWh to 3 gallons/kWh and this is a desert we are talking about, right?

Unless I have read the studies incorrectly, even if they start out by merely depleting the water initially found in the well, they will almost certainly need to draw millions of gallons fresh water due to evaporation, etc.