MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif., June 9, 2023 – Central Coast Community Energy (3CE) and Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) today celebrated the first geothermal power plant built in the last 30 years within the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) balancing authority. The power plant achieved commercial operation in July 2022 and produces clean and renewable electricity for 22,000 homes, offsetting 160,000 tons of carbon emissions.
Casa Diablo-IV (CD4) is a 30 megawatt (MW) geothermal power plant developed by Ormat Technologies, Inc. in Mammoth Lakes, California that provides stable and reliable renewable benefits 24 hours a day, with zero carbon emissions. SVCE and 3CE each receive 7 MW of geothermal power under a 10-year power purchase agreement (PPA). Southern California Public Power Authority receives the remaining 16 MW of geothermal power under a 25-year agreement. CD4 is the first geothermal power plant in Ormat’s portfolio to sell its output to Community Choice Aggregators.
3CE CEO Robert Shaw and SVCE CEO Girish Balachandran joined Ormat executives in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the partnership and project.
“3CE’s Boards have given the direction to push for innovative technologies while managing costs to ensure low customer rates,” said Robert Shaw, 3CE’s CEO. “As 3CE’s second geothermal project to come online, Casa Diablo-IV helps diversify 3CE’s new clean and renewable energy portfolio, provides a critical resource for grid reliability, and gets one step closer to meeting California’s decarbonization goals.”
“SVCE and 3CE recognized the need for this clean baseload resource and signed the contract for this project even before the state passed new procurement orders for geothermal energy,” said Girish Balachandran, SVCE CEO. “This project is a testament to our commitment to a resilient and reliable clean grid that can support the transition our communities are making to safer, healthier electric technologies.”
Speakers included California Energy Commission Commissioner Noemí Otilia Osuna Gallardo, CAISO Vice President Joanne Serina, Bureau of Land Management California State Director Karen Mouritsen, District Ranger Fred Wong, City of Colton Assistant Director of Utility Operations Ren Zhang, and Ormat CEO Doron Blachar.
Ormat contributed significant economic and job benefits to Mammoth Lakes during the construction of the CD4 project, employing locally and generating local tax revenues. The project brought over $13 million in economic benefits to the Mammoth Lakes region and created more than 180 construction jobs.
This PPA is a result of the Request for Offers 3CE and SVCE issued jointly in 2019. 3CE and SVCE have to date signed 11 joint PPAs, totaling 1,313 MW of clean energy and 316 MW of storage. Both agencies have set goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and shift to clean, renewable energy sources that are more ambitious than those set at the state and federal levels. Four of the 11 projects under contract began operations in 2022. Six more are expected to come online in 2023, placing 3CE and SVCE well ahead of Renewable Portfolio Standards requiring 44% of electricity sold by utility providers be classified as renewable by 2024.
About Central Coast Community Energy
Central Coast Community Energy (3CE) is a public agency that sources competitively priced electricity from clean and renewable energy resources. 3CE is locally controlled and governed by board members who represent each community served by the agency. Revenue generated by 3CE stays local and helps keep electricity rates affordable for customers, while also funding innovative energy programs designed to lower greenhouse gas emissions and stimulate economic development. 3CE provides service to approximately 450,000 customer meters, or more than 1 million people throughout the Central Coast, including residential, commercial, and agricultural customers in communities located within Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more at 3CEnergy.org and on social media, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
About Silicon Valley Clean Energy
Silicon Valley Clean Energy is a not-for-profit, community-owned agency providing clean electricity from renewable and carbon-free sources to more than 270,000 residential and commercial customers in 13 Santa Clara County jurisdictions. As a public agency, net revenues are returned to the community to keep rates competitive and promote clean energy programs. Silicon Valley Clean Energy is advancing innovative solutions to fight climate change by decarbonizing the grid, transportation, and buildings. Learn more at SVCleanEnergy.org.
Principal Communications Specialist