Santa Rosa Geysers Recharge Project, Middletown, California

Leonard, Melissa
July 2005
Power;Jul/Aug2005, Vol. 149 Issue 6, p68
Trade Publication
This article focuses on the Santa Rosa Geysers Recharge Project in Middletown, California. It has been more than 40 years since the geothermal energy of northern California's geysers was first tapped and converted to electricity to help meet the state's power needs. Developers of the Santa Rosa Geysers Recharge Project faced two challenges head on and found one elegant solution to both. Calpine Corp. needed to replenish the Geysers' steam fields, which were slowly being depleted from decades of electric power production. Meanwhile, the City of Santa Rosa, California needed to find an environmentally sound way to discharge 11 million gallons per day of treated wastewater previously destined for the Russian River. Commercial electricity production from the Geysers geothermal field, located in the Mayacamas Mountains in California's Sonoma and Lake Counties, began in 1960. In recent years, Calpine, which owns 19 of the 21 facilities at the Geysers, realized that the field's total generating capacity of about 1,000 MW could not be sustained because the pressure of underground reservoirs of trapped steam was steadily falling.


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