Bottle Rock Geothermal Power Plant

December 14, 2006

  LOS ANGELES, Dec 14 (Reuters) - A 55-megawatt geothermal power plant dormant since 1990 has been given the OK to reopen, the California California Energy Commission said on Thursday.

The Bottle Rock Geothermal Power Plant will initially operate at 20 megawatts with plans to expand.

The plant in the Geysers Geothermal Field, 75 miles north of San Francisco in Lake County, will be operated by the Bottle Rock Power Corp. In October 2005, the US Renewables Group of Santa Monica, California bought controlling interest in Bottle Rock.

USRG is a company that buys, develops and operates renewable energy projects.

The geothermal plant was shut after only five years of operation when production began to lag because of a lack of steam. It was owned and operated at the time by the California Department of Water Resources.

A reopened Bottle Rock will undergo 11 design changes, the energy commission’s statement said. The energy commission board approved the reopening last week.

Power generated by the plant will be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric Co., a subsidiary of PG&E Corp., the state’s biggest utility, solicited for renewable power sources in 2005 which resulted in the purchase power agreement with Bottle Rock.