One more casualty of the severe drought that has triggered devastating wildfires in California is the Geysers geothermal power generation facility, which is located on the Sonoma County and Lake County border. The Geysers is the world’s largest geothermal power production operation with a fleet of 14 power plants owned and operated by Calpine Corporation and a net operating capacity of approximately 725 megawatts.
Calpine reported that there is no known damage to any of the main power houses (including steam turbine and generator sets). However, ancillary structures associated with 5 of the power plants (specifically, cooling towers, communication equipment and local power distribution lines) have been severely damaged. The fire also damaged some third-party transmission lines that transmit power to the grid. Calpine expects to curtail electrical delivery without penalty under their power sales agreements by reason of force majeure until repairs are completed.
Calpine also noted that they are working with local officials and community leaders to determine how best to provide assistance and support to the communities impacted by this fire, with initial donations totaling $100,000 to local charities, including the American Red Cross, for community relief efforts.