I flew over the Hudson Ranch geothermal project (just southeast of the shore of the Salton Sea) on April 23. Richard Bailey, grandson of the founder of Julian, took this photo at 800 feet above ground level.
According to a 2009 company press release, the $400 million plant, under development since 2006, should be finished later this year and will be capable of producing 49.9 megawatts of electricity by next February. The project has generated 200 full-time-equivalent construction jobs and will employ 35 full-time employees when finished.
In a conversation last week with Larry Grogan, EnergySource LLC’s senior VP of resource and development, he told me that in the 30 years geothermal plants have been in operation, the resource has not diminished at all.
The next time you drive out near the Salton Sea, look at the steam plumes near the southeastern shore and you will see several geothermal plants in operation.