Desert Peak Geothermal Area

From Open Energy Information

Area Overview

Geothermal Area Profile

Location: Nevada

Exploration Region: Northwest Basin and Range Geothermal Region

GEA Development Phase: Operational
"Operational" is not in the list of possible values (Phase I - Resource Procurement and Identification, Phase II - Resource Exploration and Confirmation, Phase III - Permitting and Initial Development, Phase IV - Resource Production and Power Plant Construction) for this property.

Coordinates: 39.7500°, -118.9500°

Resource Estimate

Mean Reservoir Temp: 208°C
481.15 K
406.4 °F
866.07 °R

Estimated Reservoir Volume: 9.45 km³
9,450,000,000 m³
2.267 mi³
333,723,600,513.45 ft³
12,360,133,349.55 yd³
9,449,999,999,999.998 L

Mean Capacity: 23 MW
23,000 kW
23,000,000 W
23,000,000,000 mW
0.023 GW
2.3e-5 TW

USGS Mean Reservoir Temp: 215°C
488.15 K
419 °F
878.67 °R

USGS Estimated Reservoir Volume: 3 km³ [3]

USGS Mean Capacity: 33 MW [3]

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History and Infrastructure

Operating Power Plants: 1

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Developing Power Projects: 0

No geothermal projects listed.

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Power Production Profile

Gross Production Capacity:

Net Production Capacity:

Owners  :
  • Ormat

Power Purchasers :

Other Uses:

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Regulatory and Environmental Issues

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Exploration History

First Discovery Well

Completion Date:

Well Name:



Initial Flow Rate:

Flow Test Comment:

Initial Temperature:

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Well Field Description

Well Field Information

Development Area:

Number of Production Wells:

Number of Injection Wells:

Number of Replacement Wells:

Average Temperature of Geofluid: 213 °C
486.15 K
415.4 °F
875.07 °R

Sanyal Classification (Wellhead): Moderate Temperature

Reservoir Temp (Geothermometry):

Reservoir Temp (Measured): 221 °C
494.15 K
429.8 °F
889.47 °R

Sanyal Classification (Reservoir): Moderate Temperature

Depth to Top of Reservoir: 762m
0.762 km
0.473 mi
2,500 ft
833.331 yd

Depth to Bottom of Reservoir: 1280m
1.28 km
0.795 mi
4,199.475 ft
1,399.821 yd

Average Depth to Reservoir: 1021m
1.021 km
0.634 mi
3,349.738 ft
1,116.576 yd

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Geology of the Area

The given value was not understood.

The Desert Peak geothermal field, located in Churchill County, NV, is a blind geothermal system that has no surface hot springs or fumaroles. Silicified late Pleistocene sands crop out ~1.3 km west-southwest of the production wells and probably resulted from prehistoric outflow from the hydrothermal system into former Lake Lahontan when water tables were higher than today. The regional geology consists of Triassic and Jurassic metamorphosed sedimentary and volcanic rocks while the fine grained lacustrine rocks of the Truckee formation act as a caprock to the geothermal system. The temperature of the water in the production wells, ~215°C, matches its geochemical thermometers suggesting the upwelling zone has successfully been tapped. The Desert Peak area is dominated by NNE-trending gently to moderately ESE-tilted fault blocks bounded by moderately to steeply WNW-dipping normal faults. The most significant fault in the area is the WNW-dipping Rhyolite Ridge fault zone, which consists of several strands and steps to the left in the vicinity of the geothermal field. Gravity data indicate that displacement on the Rhyolite Ridge fault zone increases southward by as much as 840 m. This is compatible with a progressive southward increase in depth to pre-Tertiary basement noted in wells in the vicinity of the Desert Peak field. NW-trending gravity contours across the Desert Peak field may reflect a relay ramp associated with southward increasing displacement on the Rhyolite Ridge fault zone. No major transverse or cross faults have been observed in the Desert Peak area. In addition, there appears to be no surface evidence for a horst block in the Desert Peak area. The gravity high in the Desert Peak area appears to be associated with a thick sequence of synextensional late Miocene basalt flows that filled the half graben in the hanging wall of the Rhyolite Ridge fault zone. The geothermal field at Desert Peak occurs in the major left step in the Rhyolite Ridge fault zone. All production wells occur with this step-over. Multiple fault strands in the step-over produce a subvertical conduit of high fracture density that probably enhances fluid flow and facilitates the rise of a deep-seated thermal plume. The NNE striking fault zone is orthogonal to the regional WNW extension direction and is thus favorably oriented for fluid flow.[4][5][6]

Geofluid Geochemistry


Salinity (low): 6700

Salinity (high):

Salinity (average): 6700

Brine Constituents:

Water Resistivity:

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NEPA-Related Analyses (3)

Below is a list of NEPA-related analyses that have been conducted in the area - and logged on OpenEI. To add an additional NEPA-related analysis, see the NEPA Database.


Document #Analysis
NV-020-03-26EAORNI 3, LLC24 August 2009Bureau of Land ManagementGeothermal/Power Plant
NV-020-08-CX-65CXOrmat Technologies Inc27 August 200811 September 2008Bureau of Land ManagementGeothermal/ExplorationPassive Seismic Techniques
NVN-086285CUMagma Energy31 October 20081 December 2008Bureau of Land ManagementGeothermal/ExplorationMagnetotellurics

Exploration Activities (1)

Below is a list of Exploration that have been conducted in the area - and cataloged on OpenEI. Add.png Add a new Exploration Activity

Page Technique Activity Start Date Activity End Date Reference Material
Micro-Earthquake At Desert Peak Geothermal Area (2011) Micro-Earthquake 2011 2011


  1. 1.0 1.1 Geothermex Inc.. 2004. New Geothermal Site Identification and Qualification. Richmond, CA: California Energy Commission. Report No.: P500-04-051. Contract No.: 500-04-051.
  2. Benjamin Matek. Geo-energy [Internet]. Geothermal Energy Association. [updated 2015/04/28;cited 2015/04/28]. Available from:
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 U.S. Geological Survey. 2008. Assessment of Moderate- and High-Temperature Geothermal Resources of the United States. USA: U.S. Geological Survey. Report No.: Fact Sheet 2008-3082.

List of existing Geothermal Resource Areas.