New binary geothermal project in Mammoth Lakes, California under construction

Geothermal project under construction

Construction on Casa Diablo-IV (CD4) officially began in May 2021. The renewable, binary geothermal project is located in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. Central Coast Community Energy (CCCE) and Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) will receive 14 MW of the project output through a contract signed with Ormat Technologies. 

The state-of-the-art project is expected to provide 30 MW of electricity, enough to power 22,000 homes and offset 160,000 tons of CO2 annually. The remaining 16 MW of power will be going to the City of Colton in Southern California. The project is estimated to bring over $13 million in economic benefits to the Mammoth Lakes region and will create more than 180 construction jobs.

The CD4 project will be the first new geothermal power plant built within the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) balancing authority in the last 30 years. The state recently ordered the procurement of at least 1,000 MW of zero carbon emitting generation resources with at least an 80% capacity factor by 2026 which includes new geothermal. The CD4 project is also using an innovative closed-loop binary process to eliminate the natural carbon emissions associated with flash steam geothermal energy production.

“Carbon-free energy from resources such as geothermal that produce energy in all hours of the day are critical to achieve California’s GHG reduction goals. SVCE and 3CE will be able to count the CD4 project towards the CPUC’s new procurement order,” said Girish Balachandran, SVCE CEO. “This project will increase reliability and demonstrate the variety of technologies needed to transition away from fossil fuels and to a clean, decarbonized grid. SVCE is specifically interested in the innovative closed-loop technology that makes this resource emission-free.”

“Central Coast Community Energy is committed to procuring 100% clean and renewable energy on behalf of our Central Coast customers by 2030 through new and diverse renewable projects,” said Tom Habashi, CCCE CEO. “We are ecstatic about the CD4 project in partnership with Silicon Valley Clean Energy and Ormat breaking ground and helping us to deliver consistent and clean energy to support our growing customer base in a fiscally responsible way.”

The CD4 project also marks a significant milestone as the first in Ormat’s portfolio to sell its output to Community Choice Aggregators.

According to Paul Thomsen, Vice President of Business Development at Ormat, “We are excited that these contracts will be the first of many such contracts with the rapidly growing Community Choice Aggregators throughout California.”

The PPA is a result of the request for offers (RFO) CCCE and SVCE issued jointly in 2019. As a result of the RFOs, CCCE and SVCE have to date signed 12 joint PPAs, totaling 1,470 MW of clean energy and 356 MW of storage.

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