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ABSTRACT: 1991 Reservoir Assessment and Electrical Generation Forecast for California's Liquid-Dominated Geothermal Reservoirs

MAURATH, GARRY, and KELLY TILFORD,* Ebasco Services, Inc., Sacramento, CA

The last comprehensive effort to evaluate the reservoir size of California's geothermal resources was published in 1978 (USGS Circular 790, 1978, L. J. P. Muffler, ed.). Since this study, a significant amount of field data has been compiled about these reservoirs, and many of the resources have undergone or are undergoing development, as demonstrated by the number of geothermal power plants that have come on line since then. This study takes a fresh look at those projections, examines more recent data, and reassesses each reservoir to further refine the estimates for electric production from liquid-dominated geothermal systems in California.

Using both publicly available and proprietary data, the authors re-evaluated temperature, reservoir production, and existing reservoir estimates to predict the proven, probable, and possible liquid-dominated geothermal reservoirs in California associated with Known Geothermal Resource Areas (KGRAs). A total of 19 reservoirs were evaluated within California with the exception of the Geysers and Lassen KGRAs. Also, two reservoirs immediately adjacent to California were included in this study on the basis that the majority of the generation is exported for use in California. The proven resources are generating approximately 1271.1 MWe, and the possible resources have an estimated total generating capacity of approximately 5923 MWe. The mean reservoir temperature and volume are 187 degree C and 21 cu km, respectively. This estimate is approximately one-half the 11,434 MWe estimated in 1978.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91016©1992 AAPG-SEPM-SEG-EMD Pacific Section Meeting, Sacramento, California, April 27-May 1, 1992 (2009)