California’s Geothermal Energy Plant Set to Revolutionize the Energy Sector

As new energy sources crop up across the country, a startup company has secured a huge deal that will change the way energy is generated in California. Here are the details.

California’s New Energy Game-Changer

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Everyone has heard of solar panels, wind turbines, and electric cars. These are all great ways of tackling climate change while keeping the same standard of living Americans expect. Now, there’s a new energy source on the scene: geothermal energy.

The Next Big Thing

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On Tuesday, a geothermal startup called Fervo Energy made an announcement that should be music to Californian’s ears. They’ve landed a 15-year deal to supply 320 megawatts (a megawatt is one million watts) of power to Southern California Edison – one of the biggest utility companies in the U.S. 

What is Geothermal Energy Anyway?

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This is huge because geothermal energy, which taps into the Earth’s heat to generate power, has always been too expensive to compete with other renewable sources. But Fervo is trying to change that.

Bankable Tech

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Tim Latimer, Fervo’s CEO, said, “This is a technology that is bankable, ready for prime time.” 

The company is backed by big names, including Bill Gates, and has spent seven years perfecting its drilling techniques to cut costs.

A Utah Powerhouse

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They’re building a 400-megawatt power plant called Cape Station in Utah to generate this power, creating up to 300 construction jobs and about 50 permanent jobs once it’s up and running. 

Impactful Strategy

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By choosing strategic locations like their Utah site, which can easily send power to California, they’re making sure their projects are practical and impactful.

Timeline for Power Generation

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The first 70 megawatts are expected to be online by 2026, with full operation by 2028.

What Does It Mean For You?

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But why should the average American care about this? Well, geothermal energy provides a steady stream of power, unlike solar and wind, which can be inconsistent. This means fewer blackouts during extreme weather when everyone cranks up their AC or heaters.

Space-Saving Geothermal Plants

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Geothermal plants also take up much less space than massive solar or wind farms, which means fewer battles over land use, wildlife habitats, and sacred Indigenous sites. 

A Jobs Boost in Renewable Energy

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Investing in geothermal energy is a big step towards a sustainable future, and the World Resources Institute estimates that it could create around 6 million jobs. 

Benefits Over Other Energy Sources

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It’s less invasive than fracking (although it requires similar techniques, it’s less damaging overall), releases less greenhouse gasses than fossil fuels, and is a lot more reliable than solar and wind energy.

Benefits for Californians

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For Californians, this deal is a big step towards the state’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2045. 

Impact on Energy Bills

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It could mean that you see a reduction in energy bills as the state moves towards cheaper energy alternatives that are better for the planet.

Geothermal’s Growth Potential

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It also proves that geothermal energy can be a real part of the energy sector. Right now, geothermal energy makes up less than 5% of California’s energy and less than 0.5% of the nation’s energy – but this deal could see that change.

How Fervo Beat The Competition

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Fervo’s big breakthrough came from using advanced drilling techniques borrowed from the oil and gas industry. By drilling deep and then horizontally, they can access more heat underground, making each well more productive and cheaper.

Approval Challenges

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Despite some objections from California’s utilities commission, which worried about costs, the deal was approved because of its long-term benefits.

Partnerships with Google

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Fervo’s deal with Edison is just the start of their plans. They’re also set to supply power to Google’s data centers in Nevada. 

Hefty Financial Backing 

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The startup has attracted big investments, including a $244 million funding round in February with support from companies like Devon Energy and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Transitioning to a Sustainable Future

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Moving to renewable energy isn’t a quick process. We’ll need a huge mix of technologies, including geothermal, advanced nuclear, and offshore wind farms – to name but a few. We should also focus on using energy more efficiently and supporting things like rooftop solar.

Looking Ahead

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This breakthrough should create jobs, lower energy bills, and give Californians a sense of energy security. It’s a big step towards a cleaner, more sustainable future.

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The post California’s Geothermal Energy Plant Set to Revolutionize the Energy Sector first appeared on EcoHugo.

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