Updated Conceptual Model and Reserve Estimate for the Salton Sea Geothermal Field, Imperial Valley, California

The Salton Sea Geothermal Field is one of the largest geothermal resources in the world. Recent changes in leasehold positions, changes in lake management due to Colorado River water transfers, a transition to renewable energy resources and the clean energy initiatives of California, have prompted renewed interest in development of the field for baseload power generation. The receding shoreline of the Salton Sea is now exposing areas previously inaccessible, and exposing large tracts of land for development. Since the last conceptual model and resource estimate for the Salton Sea Geothermal Field was published in 2002, significant additional data has become available, including publicly available seismic surveys over the resource area, experiences of developers and operators at the field, and recent research related to seismicity and tectonics of Southern California. In this study, we integrate these data sets in an updated conceptual model and a revised estimate of the power generation potential of the field. The result is a model that can serve as the basis for further exploration and development in the field. Our study increases the power generation potential of the field to 2950 MWe.

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