Project Status: License Terminated By Commission: November 8, 2017

Key Dates

General Description of Project

On December 17, 2003, the California Energy Commission (Energy Commission) issued a license to CE Obsidian Energy, LLC to construct and operate the Salton Sea Geothermal Unit 6 project. The project would be a 185 megawatt (MW) net output geothermal steam powered electric generation facility.

The 80-acre SSU6 Project site is located in the Imperial Valley, approximately 1,000 feet southeast of the southern reach of the Salton Sea, within the unincorporated area of Imperial County. The town of Niland is approximately 7.5 miles to the northeast and the town of Calipatria is approximately 6.1 miles to the southeast of the plant site. The Sonny Bono Salton Sea Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) Headquarters is approximately 4,000 feet from the site. The Alamo River and New River are approximately 4.8 miles southwest and 2.7 miles east of the plant site, respectively.

On May 11, 2005, the Energy Commission approved a petition to amend the project to enable the plant to increase its capacity from 185 MW to 215 MW by adding a binary-cycle turbine (Organic Rankine Cycle) to the existing steam turbine to capture dissipated energy.

On December 19, 2007, the Energy Commission granted an extension on the start of construction deadline from December 18, 2008 to December 18, 2011.

On August 3, 2009, the name of the project changed from Salton Sea Geothermal Unit 6 to Black Rock 1, 2 and 3 Geothermal Power Project.

On February 2, 2011, the Energy Commission approved a petition to redesign the facility as three individual 53 MW, single-flash geothermal units, for a total of 159 MW net generating capacity, rather than the licensed single 215 MW, multi-flash unit. The amended project includes the original 80-acre site plus an additional 80 acres adjacent to the south, part of which was used for construction support in the original project. The amended project will be situated generally in the middle of the site with production well pads on the northern, western, and southern perimeters of the site.

On December 14, 2011, the Energy Commission granted an extension on the start of construction deadline from December 18, 2011 to December 18, 2014.

On December 10, 2014, the Energy Commission granted an extension on the start of construction deadline from December 18, 2014 to December 18, 2019.

On November 8, 2017, the Energy Commission approved CALEnergy Operating Corporation’s request to terminate the Energy Commission certification for the Black Rock 1, 2 and 3 Geothermal Power Project.

Energy Commission Facility Certification Process

The California Energy Commission is the lead agency (for licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts and larger) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and has a certified regulatory program under CEQA. Under its certified program, the Energy Commission is exempt from having to prepare an environmental impact report. Its certified program, however, does require environmental analysis of the project, including an analysis of alternatives and mitigation measures to minimize any significant adverse effect the project may have on the environment.

For Questions about this Certification Proceeding Contact:

Project Has Been Terminated, No Project Manager Assigned

For Questions About Public Participation In Certification Proceedings Contact:

Public Advisor
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-12 Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-654-4489
Toll-Free in California: 1-800-822-6228

News Media Please Contact:

Media & Public Communications Office
Phone: 916-654-4989

Original Proceeding

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