AMEC awarded contract on next-generation geothermal project in California
Monday, Jun 28, 2010

AMEC, the international engineering and project management company, has been awarded a US$6.8 million contract by EnergySource LLC, to provide engineering services for a 49-megawatt, $350 million geothermal power generating facility at Salton Sea, California.

The Hudson Ranch I project, located in Imperial County, is the first stand-alone flash geothermal plant to be built at the Salton Sea geothermal site in recent years.  Work on the project has begun and is expected to be complete by 2012.   AMEC will be responsible for design, engineering, training and assistance during the construction and start-up phase.

The geothermal power plant will produce electricity from naturally occurring geothermal steam stored in superheated water reservoirs thousands of feet beneath the earth’s surface.   The facility will be a triple-flash plant using high-temperature Crystallizer Reactor Clarifier (CRC) technology to process the geothermal brine and steam from the Salton Sea production wells.  The plant will include a turbine-generator, cooling tower, wellhead separators, crystallizer, water tanks, primary and secondary clarifier tanks, control building, office buildings, substation, pipelines and supports, various ancillary structures and associated internal roadways. 

“Our respective teams have been working closely for two years on Hudson Ranch I, so we are pleased to kick off final plant design with AMEC and look forward to a successful project outcome,” said Dave Watson, President of EnergySource.

“This project is one of a new generation of high-temperature flash technology geothermal plants and another great addition to AMEC’s portfolio of sustainable energy projects,” said Tim Gelbar, President of AMEC’s Power & Process Americas business.  “We have been involved with this project for several years and it fully aligns with our Vision 2015 strategy, which further defines our key market sectors and strengthens the focus on renewable and clean energy.”

The project has been under development since 2006 by Catalyst Renewables and Hannon Armstrong, the majority owners of EnergySource (formerly known as CHAR); recently, GeoGlobal Energy joined the ownership group.  EnergySource specializes in the development, construction and operation of grid-connected geothermal and solar power generating stations, selling “green” energy and capacity to utility companies.

The plant will take 21 months to build and will employ 35 full-time employees when complete.  Once the project becomes operational, Salt River Project (SRP), a major southwestern utility will purchase the power.  SRP provides electricity to more than 935,000 retail customers in the Phoenix area.

The project will benefit from US Federal tax incentives contained in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), a US$787 billion economic stimulus package passed by Congress in February 2009.


Source: AMEC

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