Salt River Project is now receiving a significant amount of renewable energy from the just-completed Hudson Ranch I geothermal plant located in California’s Imperial Valley. Retired Vice Adm. Dennis V. McGinn, president of the American Council on Renewable Energy, provided the keynote address during the dedication ceremony for the plant on Friday, May 18.
SRP executed a 30-year agreement in 2007 to purchase 49 megawatts of geothermal energy from Hudson Ranch I. The utility-scale plant, developed by EnergySource, is now providing enough energy to power about 26,000 average size Valley homes. The facility is located in one of the largest and highest-temperature geothermal resources in North America – the Salton Sea field in Imperial County.
Last year, SRP signed another agreement with EnergySource for the purchase of an additional 49 megawatts of geothermal from Hudson Ranch II. This second 30-year agreement calls for SRP to purchase power beginning in mid-2014, when the plant is expected to be completed. SRP will arrange transmission of the energy from the point of delivery to Arizona.
A geothermal power plant produces electricity from naturally occurring heat below Earth’s surface. Geothermal energy is considered renewable energy because no fuel is consumed and the energy is from a naturally occurring source. Unlike other forms of renewable energy such as solar or wind, geothermal power plants produce energy continuously, irrespective of the time of the day or weather conditions.
Under SRP’s Sustainable Portfolio goals, SRP must meet 20 percent of its retail electricity requirements through sustainable resources by the year 2020. The goal increases each year until 2020 and, currently, SRP has exceeded its 5 percent goal while providing more than 9 percent of retail energy needs with sustainable resources such as wind, solar, geothermal and biomass energy, hydro power, conservation and energy-efficiency measures.
Headquartered in El Centro, Calif., EnergySource is an independent developer, constructor, operator and owner of utility-scale geothermal power generation projects in southern California’s Salton Sea resource, selling wholesale base-load renewable power and environmental attributes to Western utilities subject to requirements to purchase energy from renewable resources.
SRP is the largest provider of electricity to the greater Phoenix area, serving nearly 950,000 electric customers.