Geothermal Energy

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A 270-megawatt renewable energy geothermal power plant at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake provides on average 1.4 million megawatt-hours of electricity to the California power grid annually, enough power for 180,000 homes. The China Lake plant was built using a public-private venture business model.

In addition to managing the geothermal field at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, the Department’s Geothermal Program Office is actively exploring for more geothermal resources to develop. Exploration is underway at Naval Air Facility El Centro, Calif., Naval Air Station Fallon, Nev., Naval Air Weapons Center China Lake, Calif., Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., and the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twenty-nine Palms, Calif.  Exploration for geothermal resources at Twenty-nine Palms began in last winter, and included the drilling of five temperature gradient holes. The final phase of exploration, deep exploratory drilling, will be completed at El Centro and Twenty-nine Palms in fiscal year 2010.