BLM>California>What We Do>Energy>Geothermal
Print Page


Calistoga powerplant with two BLM inspectors. The Geysers, Northern California.
Calistoga powerplant with two BLM inspectors. The Geysers, Northern California.

In regard to geothermal energy, California is "hot."  This energy source, which literally means the "earth's heat," is found throughout California on public lands.  The Obama Administration's emphasis on renewable energy development has translated into an increasing interest in geothermal leasing and exploration in California as well.

BLM is currently  conducting environmental reviews of proposals to consider leasing near Coso Hot Springs in Inyo County and east of the Salton Sea in Imperial County.  New exploration and development projects have also been proposed in the Truckhaven Geothermal Leasing Area in Imperial County and at Mammoth Lakes Geothermal Field in Mono County.

The Geysers field in Lake and Sonoma Counties produces 46 percent of the total royalties from Federal geothermal leases in California with Coso Hot Springs in Inyo County at 34 percent and East Mesa in Imperial County at 17 percent.

Other fields in production include Heber in Imperial County, Mammoth Lakes in Mono County, and Wendel-Amedee in Lassen County.

In 2014, Geothermal leases generated 
approximately 3.71 billion kilowatt hours
of electricity,
enough for 371,000 people.

Activities on all Federal geothermal leases are authorized by the BLM field offices.  For example, activities on leases in The Geysers are reviewed and authorized by the Ukiah Field Office.

Inspection and enforcement responsibilities for Federal geothermal leases in California are geographically divided into two zones - North and South.  All operations on Federal leases located in California North of Sacramento ( North Zone ) are inspected by personnel from the Ukiah Field Office, with assistance from personnel in the Eagle Lake Field Office .  For operations on Federal leases located South of Sacramento ( South Zone ), inspections are coordinated through the  Ridgecrest Field Office , with assistance from both the Bishop and El Centro Field Offices.




In the Spotlight

*Notice of Geothermal Lease Sale
*Results of Sept. 11, 2014 Geothermal Lease Sale
*Amendment to Sale Notice for Sept. 11, 2014 Geothermal Lease Sale
*Amendment to Sale Notice for Sept. 11, 2014 Geothermal Lease Sale
*Geothermal Lease Sale Planned for September 11, 2014

*Geothermal Programmatic EIS 
*Geothermal Permitting Guide:  Developers Check List
*Geothermal Guidance 
*Draft EIS for Haiwee Geothermal Leasing Area 
*FEIS for Casa Diablo IV
*FEIS for West Chocolate Mountains Renewable Energy Evaluation Area

Quick Facts:

BLM California currently oversees geothermal production from 32 Federal leases, which collectively produce approximately 425 megawatts of electricity from 31 individual power plants.

In 2014, total Federal geothermal royalties amounted to $10.2 million.



 Funny.bytes:  Geothermal George

Funny.bytes - George - the Little Geothermal Plant

Funny.bytes - George, the little Geothermal Plant

George is just a little geothermal plant -- can he help his neighbors in an emergency?  Funny.bytes is an occasionally look at the lighter side of BLM issues.