Geothermal/Visual Resources

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Geothermal Visual Resources

Visual Resources
Present, Potentially Affected

  • BLM-NV-WN-ES-08-01-1310, NV-020-08-01 (Blue Mountain Geothermal Well Field and Power Plant EA)
  • Barren Ridge Renewable Transmission (Barren Ridge Renewable Transmission Project Environmental Impact Statement)
  • CA-96062042 (Fourmile Hill Geothermal Development Project Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) / Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for Geothermal/Power Plant, Geothermal/Well Field, Geothermal/Transmission)
  • DOE-EA-1621 (Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) Deep Geothermal Well and Power Plant Project EA at Klamath Falls Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Power Plant)
  • DOE-EA-1733 (Calpine Enhanced Geothermal Systems Project EA at Geysers Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Well Field)
  • DOE-EA-1849 (EA for Northern Nevada Geothermal Power Plant Project at McGuinness Hills Geothermal Area)
  • DOI-BLM-CA-017-05-051 (Basalt Canyon Geothermal Pipeline Project Environmental Assessment and Draft Environmental Impact Report for Geothermal/Well Field)
  • DOI-BLM-CA-EA-2002-??? (Glass Mountain Exploration Environmental Assessment/Initial Study for Geothermal/Well Field)
  • DOI-BLM-CA-ES-2007-017-3200 (Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Truckhaven Geothermal Leasing Area)
  • DOI-BLM-CA-ES-2013-002+1793-EIS (Casa Diablo IV Geothermal Development Project EIS at Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Power Plant)
  • DOI-BLM-ID-220-2009-EA-3709 (Raft River Geothermal Drilling Project EA for Geothermal/Exploration)
  • DOI-BLM-NV-063-EA08-091 (Jersey Valley and Buffalo Valley Geothermal Development Projects EA for Geothermal/Power Plant)
  • DOI-BLM-NV-B020-2011-0026-EA (Clayton Valley Geothermal Exploration Project EA for Drilling and Well Testing)
  • DOI-BLM-NV-B020-2012-0214-EA (Silver Peak Area Geothermal Exploration Project EA for Drilling and Well Testing for Geothermal/Exploration)
  • DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2010-0006-EA (Gabbs Valley and Dead Horse Wells Geothermal Exploration Projects EA for Geothermal/Exploration)
  • DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2010-0010-EA (EA at Coyote Canyon and Dixie Meadows for Geothermal/Exploration Drilling and Well Testing)
  • DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2011-0001-EA (Coyote Canyon Utilization Project EA for TGP for Geothermal/Power Plant)
  • DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2011-0516-EA (EA for Thermal Gradient Holes at Dixie Meadows Geothermal Exploration Project for Geothermal/Exploration, Geothermal/Well Field)
  • DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2012-0029-EA (Tungsten Mountain Geothermal Exploration Project EA for Geothermal/Well Field Drilling and Well Testing)
  • DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2012-0051-EA (Coyote Canyon South Geothermal Exploration Project EA for Geothermal/Exploration)
  • DOI-BLM-NV-CC-ES-11-10-1793 (Salt Wells Geothermal Energy Projects EIS for Geothermal/Power Plant Development Drilling)
  • DOI-BLM-NV-CO10-2011-0501-EA (EA for Phase II Production Wells and Thermal Gradient Holes at Patua Geothermal Project for Geothermal/Well Field)
  • DOI-BLM-NV-W010-2010-0004-EA (New York Canyon Geothermal Exploration Project EA for Exploration Drilling and Well Testing)
  • DOI-BLM-NV-W010-2011-0001-EA (EA of the Leach Hot Springs Geothermal Exploration Project at Grass Valley Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Exploration, Geothermal/Well Field Drilling and Well Testing)
  • DOI-BLM-NV-W010–2012–0005–EA (EA for Development Drilling at New York Canyon Geothermal Utilization and Interconnect Project for Geothermal/Power Plant, Geothermal/Transmission, Geothermal/Well Field)
  • DOI-BLM-OR-P000-2011-0003-EA (EA for Newberry Volcano Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) Demonstration Project for Geothermal/Well Field)
  • DOI-BLM-OR-P040-0021-EA (EA for Exploratory Wells at Midnight Point and Mahogany Geothermal Exploration Projects, Glass Buttes, Oregon for Geothermal/Exploration)
  • DOI-BLM-OR-V040-2009-0059-EA (Department of Energy Loan Guarantee for U.S. Geothermal's Neal Hot Springs Geothermal Facility in Vale, Oregon for Geothermal/Power Plant)
  • EA for Well Field Development at Patua Geothermal Area - DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2011-00016-EA (EA for Phase II of Patua Geothermal Project for Geothermal/Exploration, Geothermal/Well Field)
  • NV-020-03-26 (Desert Peak 2 Geothermal Project Environmental Assessment for Geothermal/Power Plant)
  • NV-020-07-EA-01 (EA for Observation Wells at Jersey Valley Geothermal Exploration Project for Geothermal/Well Field, Geothermal/Exploration)
  • NV-063-EA06-098 (Reese River Valley Geothermal Exploration Project Environmental Assessment)
  • NV-EA-030-07-05 (EA for Thermal Gradient Holes at Salt Wells for Geothermal/Exploration)

Infrastructures from geothermal energy development can impede visual appeasement. While the impacts associated with geothermal projects are minimal, city, state and county regulations require management plans to mitigate disturbances to wildlife, surrounding communities and recreationalists.

Visual Resources Impacts & Mitigation

Geothermal projects cause minimal visual impacts both during development and operation. Typical impacts and mitigation measures include:

Painting and Texturing:

  • Paint or texturize the wellheads, fencing, pump motors and motor control buildings a non-reflective, flat, earth tone to match surroundings. Complete this action within six-months of construction.
  • Limit or omit commercial messages, advertisements, to discourage graffiti on infrastructure. Clean all graffiti immediately upon discovery


  • Avoid light pollution by constructing light fixtures in active work and storage areas with hoods, screening, or shields to direct the lighting downward.
  • Temporary lighting on rigs will only be used for short durations during operational hours.

Steam Plumes:

  • Use well venting to mitigate the volume of visible steam plumes. To decrease particulate matter, direct geothermal fluids from the wellhead to a portable silencer.


  • Plant native trees, shrubs and grasses as a buffer to strengthen the natural characteristics of the natural landscape. This mitigates the visual impacts of the power plant, transmission and pipelines.


  • All disturbances and restoration efforts such as re-vegetation, seeding, access roads, well pads, contoured and filled areas are to match the pre-construction condition of the surrounding landscape and natural characteristics.

Soil and Dust:

  • All unused excavated areas will be re-contoured and re-graded. Water application to the construction area will mitigate fugitive dust. Road management plans would insure the optimal construction of new roads and well pads to decrease cut-and-fill impacts.


  • All new constructed buildings are not to exceed height limitations outlined in the management plan.
  • Temporary construction equipment is to be removed after drilling and testing has concluded.
  • Only the wellhead will extend above the well pad.
  • To make transmission lines visible to aircraft carriers and decrease collisions, install aerial marker balls on power lines.
  • Avoid construction atop ridgelines and summits and adjacent to distinguished landscapes to mitigate visual impacts to surrounding communities or recreationalists.
  • Bury utility cable and pipelines when possible
  • Use existing right-of-way to share access roads and existing buildings to decrease land color and texture contrasts. If new roads are needed, use natural topography and reclamation tactics to guide construction.