NEPA Process for Geothermal Power Plants in the Deschutes National Forest

From Open Energy Information

NEPA Document Collection for: NEPA Process for Geothermal Power Plants in the Deschutes National Forest
EIS at Newberry Caldera Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Exploration, Geothermal/Well Field, Geothermal/Power Plant,

EIS for Geothermal Power Plants in the Deschutes National Forest

Proposed Action

In July 1992, Cal Energy proposes a Plan of Exploration, Development and Production:

  • Drilling or coring up to 4 TG wells to a max depth of 5,500 feet
  • Drilling exploration production test wells up to 9,000 feet at 14 locations
  • Drill and complete production wells sufficient to supply steam for a 33 MW power plant

The Cal Energy proposal also included a Plan of Utilization and Disposal to construct a 33 MW geothermal power plant, associated pipelines and transmission lines.

The USFS, BLM, and Bonneville Power commence an EIS covering all the above listed plans in Fall 1992. The FEIS was issued in July 1994.

Cal Energy spudded well 88-21 TCH in May 1995. Well 88-21 TCH was completed in July 1995 at 4676’ and BHT of 410°F. Cal Energy also spudded well 76-15 TCH in July 1995. This well was completed in November 1995 at 5360’ and BHT of 350°F. In 1996, Cal Energy vacated Newberry, claiming the resource was “hot dry rock”.

Conditions of Approval

Cal Energy requested approval of a Plan of Production, Utilization and Disposal early in the project, claiming that they didn’t want approval to drill wells, only to have a power plant denied in the end.

Optional well sites – were analyzed in NEPA. Cal Energy was looking to drill 6 to 8 wells, but did not know which locations would eventually be drilled. Future locations were dependent on results of the latest wells.

Clearing large areas around each well – although each well pad was designed for 5 acres, NEPA and supporting clearances (biologic, T&E, cultural) were designed for 40 acres, to facilitate the ability to move the pad in any direction one pad-size.

Data Completion Notes

7/29/2014 Exact application dates and final EIS dates are approximated. Only the month and year of the application and final EIS dates are known. The date tool does not allow entry of dates before 2004, and so will not calculate timeframe based on dates given for 1992 and 1994. Timeframe should be approximately 730 days (two years). MB