PG&E Tries Again on Geothermal, Meets Clean Energy Goal

On the heels of PG&E losing its geothermal power contract with Western GeoPower, the California utility said on Friday that it’s trying again with a geothermal power purchase agreement. This time it’s a 175 MW contract with Calpine Corporation, for the very same geyser field in Northern California that it lost so very recently.

PG&E says the Geysers Geothermal Field, which is 75 miles north of San Francisco, will provide enough clean energy to power 45,000 homes in northern and central California. And geothermal power will make up three percent of PG&E’s energy portfolio.

But particularly exciting for the utility, PG&E says that with this contract, they can now meet the state mandate that 20 percent of their electricity generation comes from clean energy. Oh happy day . . . well, that’s if the current contracts don’t go cold, too. The current contract needs to be approved by the regulatory body, the California Public Utilities Commission.

Given the contract with Calpine is for a much larger 175 MW, compared to the former Western GeoPower contract which was for 25.5 MW, PG&E will probably ask the CPUC too give it more of a priority than they did for the WGP deal. Hopefully, for the sake of the 20 percent finish line!

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